A series of reflections on Christianity and nature from debut author Warner.
Invoking natural wonders ranging from Zion National Park to the sublime simplicity of dairy cows, this collection of Christian musings takes readers on a leisurely walk through life and its challenges. In short chapters that tend to begin with the natural world and end with a biblical verse or teachings about Jesus Christ—e.g., “Christ did not come to make life easy, but to make people great”—the collection summons a fondness for figures such as Albert Schweitzer and John Muir along with an irritation for many of the worries of the modern world. Ranging from a chapter about the dangers of consumerism to a chapter detailing a lengthy conversation with an agnostic physician, the stories and musings include moments from the mundane and the divine. A chapter called “Hawk” begins: “The lake is a good schoolroom with many lessons for us, and for the creatures that live around it.” What starts as an observation of a hawk becomes words of advice for those struggling with faith. “God always has a better plan for us and we can find his way,” Warner writes, “even, or maybe especially when, we are discouraged and fighting an uphill battle.” Readers will easily imagine walking along the shore of Lake Erie with the no-nonsense yet genial author and his collie, Skye, as a developing weather pattern or piece of sea glass conjures a brief biblical parable, old hymn or simple statement of wonder. Though perhaps slow for readers seeking more fire and brimstone in their Christian texts, the book is instead geared more toward readers looking for meditative, folksy qualities in the writings of a fellow believer. Allusions to skipping stones and dairy farm chores may not illicit great moments of excitement, but they’re not necessarily meant to. Instead, the country contemplations will be calmly inspiring.
Affirmations of the natural world in one man’s heartfelt Christian beliefs.