2 minutes reading time (307 words)

Reading Room

As you can imagine, I've had a bit more time for reading recently. (Thanks for asking - yes, the leg is coming along nicely, but it's all slow, and meant to be so.) I've actually finished some books, and now that it's Lent I've found 2 or 3 books that have helped and inspired me. You could read them in Lent, or any time really.

"One for Sorrow" by Alan Hargrave is a memoir of the time before and after the death of his son Tom at the age of 21. It's an unflinching, honest, straight-talking account - no punches pulled, no soppy piety, just the struggle to hold on to faith and love. I found it very moving, and sometimes funny as well.

"The Wind, the Fountain and the Fire" is an exploration by Mark Barrett, who is a monk of Worth Abbey, of strands of imagery in the Bible - beautifully written, deceptively deep, and a reminder that to understand the Bible as a work of the imagination can help us move beyond dead-end arguments about what is or isn't true.

And "Sabbath" by Nicola Slee is a poetic investigation of the value of rest and stillness, using Wendell Berry's "Sabbath Poems" and her own journal entries and poetry. It reminded me that Sabbath - however we choose to do it - is not an add-on, but absolutely fundamental to our relationships with God and each other. Is stillness just a brief rest from all our frantic activity, or is our activity meant to arise from stillness? Is stopping (not-doing) something we can't bear to allow ourselves, or is it the way we make the deep connections that give meaning and value to our doing?

I hope we can all find time to read this Lent. "Be still and know that I am God"... 


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