December 5

Written by Bill Grandi on December 5th, 2023

There are some amazing moments in the Bible. There are some AHA moments. There are some puzzling moments (like, why did he/she do that?). There are some funny moments. There are some “raise your eyebrow” moments. And there are some euchatastrophe moments.

Eucha what?

Euchatastrophe.  That is a word coined by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is a combination of words combining the Greek word “eu,” which means “good” (as in good taste or good feeling) with the word catastrophe. Tolkien defines a eucatastrophe as “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.” (Source: Limping with God by Chad Bird).  It is like you are reading a story or watching a movie and you are so taken by the plot or twist that you find your eyes leaking! 🙂 For example, I recently finished reading the 5 book series by Glynn Young on Michael Kent, the Dancing Priest, and found moments I had to stop and blow my nose. {An aside: review coming}. And dare I say I had to walk out of the room to wipe the dirt out of my eyes while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie with Jo? (Yeah…I know. Turn in my Man Card right now!). I’m sure you have had eucatastrophe moments also.

How about Jacob when he hears Joseph is alive? How about the Resurrection? How about the elation of one healed by Jesus? How about the two on the road to Emmaus? How about Joseph and Mary? Long trip. (Very) pregnant wife. No vacancy. An animal shelter.  Sheep and oxen. Alone.  A new baby’s wail livens up the shelter environment and the sleepy town. Pure elation for Joseph and Mary. A EUCATASTROPHE!

That simple moment in time became the hinge upon which the story of humanity and our world turns. That eucatastrophe has truly become a world-changing event.

That’s enough to bring tears of joy to anyone’s eyes.


For years I had another blog called Cycleguy’s Spin. It was my go-to blog since February 20, 2008. I have used it sparingly over this past year, largely because I was posting daily devotions here. But I have decided to repurpose it and bring it back to life. My plan is to post reviews of books and music; do some commentary; post some thoughts; have guest posts, etc. Yesterday, I posted a review of Memorable Loss by Karen Martin. May I ask you to check out that post and to subscribe to receive an email when I post there? There is no charge, of course. And may I also ask you to spread the word about Cycleguy’s Spin and this one, Living in the Shadow? Thanks.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. I will resubscribe to Cycleguy’s Spin, Bill. Way back when, I stopped getting that feed, and thought maybe you had quit doing that blog. I like how you plan to revamp it!
    And I absolutely love your explanation of “euchatastrophe” here. There are certainly many of those moments in our lives, where the beauty and grace are so overwhelming, we can’t help but have a heartfelt, tearful reaction. Yes, I see the word Eucharist in that!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for resubscribing Martha. I am hoping others will do the same and I can bring it back to life. but mostly, thanks for your understanding of that word. 🙂

  2. Glynn Young says:

    Bill, thanks for the mention! All eucatastrophes in fiction, I think, are but a dim reflection of the one in Bethlehem.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      you are more than welcome Glynn. If I delineated every time I blew my nose, well…. You did a wonderful job on the books and personally I hated to see them end. I hope to do them justice in my review. I like your idea of fiction being a dim reflection. I think Lewis and Tolkien would agree.

  3. gail says:

    When God reveals those special “euchatastrophe” moments to you when you are reading the Bible, Praying, communion time, it is such a blessing. I think that God, wants us to slow down, concentrate on what He has to share with us, and open our hearts up to hear from Him. God always wants us to pull in closer to Him, it is never God who pulls away. I pray we all have many more shared “euchatastrophe” with Our Father.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Good point, Gail, about slowing down. We often miss those moments because of our hurry. Thanks for reminding us of that.

  4. Linda Stoll says:


    Well this gives me cause for pause this evening, Bill, and Romans 8:28 comes to mind – ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’

    Praise be that He is the Redeemer who specializes in bringing good out of our disasters.

  5. Cheryl says:

    I love that word “eucatastrophe!” I love the “suddenlies” when God did something “suddenly” for someone in the Bible. Looking back, I can see some of those in my own life. I’m glad you are choosing to keep your other blog going. I know how that is to feel like stopping a blog and then God breathes new life into it. I have felt that way with both of my blogs from time to time, but the Lord keeps them going somehow. I’d love a visit from you at one or both of them sometime if you are ever interested. May God bless you and Jo with a wonderful Christmas, Pastor Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I loved that word also Cheryl. I thought Tolkien did a wonderful job joining two words. I’m not sure if God is going to breathe new life into the blog or if it will take its last gasp but I will see where it goes. 🙂 And I will plan to include you in the blog after the first of the year. Thanks Cheryl. I do hope you three have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas as you focus on Him.