Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Soul Bare edited by Cara Sexton

This is a collection of 31 short narratives from the lives of different women and men revealing their deepest hardships and struggles. 

This is a most refreshing piece of work. Too often we hear testimonies from Christians of how God healed their baby or brought their friend's life back from the brink of death. Yet in this fallen world, people still die, mothers miscarry, relationships fall apart. This beautiful book shows how people negotiate the intersection of their faith and their traumatic experience.

My heart went out to Karissa Knox Sorrell as she recounted the death of her brother Will in "Wrestling with God in the Art House Theater".

Sarah Bessey, a notable blogger, speaks for all exhausted mothers in "Letters of Intention" where she took a walk with her toddler, leaving the rest of her kids at home with her husband. She reads a letter from a friend and is surprised to rediscover joy.

Stories after stories of hardship abound. 

Miscarriages. Abandonment. Cancer.

The survivors of these tragedies encountered God in various ways - through another person (or people), a letter, or even an inward whisper. 

As I read the numerous stories within these 200 pages, I felt like my faith was being built up. Jesus works through the broken, the sick, and the helpless today as he did in the past. 

If I have one complaint, it would be that the contributors are disproportionately women (I counted 2 male names).

It is a book most suitable for the commute for each story is short (3-5 pages) and can be completed within minutes.

I would recommend consuming this book in small doses, not for fear of suffering an overdose, but that you might finish the book too quickly. Good stuff like this should be savoured.

Disclaimer: The publisher sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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