A songwriter, therapist, and author delivers a spirituality and self-help guide.
In the foreword, Wallace (A Mother’s Manual for Raising Recovering Children with Autism, 2016, etc.) explains that she was called by God to put aside her other responsibilities to write this book. Her overarching message is one of unity across religions, ethnicities, and cultures—and harmony with God as well. Through four sections and multiple short chapters, the author expounds on a variety of matters from an enlightened Christian perspective. The four parts encompass Individual Thoughts, Local Thoughts, Global Thoughts, and Universal Thoughts, followed by acknowledgements and recommended additional reading. Wallace’s own text is in a normal font, with quotes italicized and words directly from God in boldface. Although Wallace’s research on the teachings and writings of theologians and spiritual figures is shared throughout the narrative, this is not a book that focuses solely on religion. The subjects are wide-ranging, from homeless children and environmentalism to the Grammys and creativity. (Some of her topics have been explored more extensively by others, such as “dumbed-down” American culture.) The author argues that the majority of the population—Christians included, and perhaps especially—has grown complacent. While the book was initially written in 2003, she revised and published it in 2016, with many of the issues proving as equally, if not more, relevant now as they were during the beginning of the century. The quotations provide additional depth to her thoughts. She relies heavily on the Roman Catholic author and theologian Thomas Merton but also quotes such diverse inspirations as St. Francis of Assisi, George Washington, and Carlos Santana. Like her other offerings, this book is beautifully written. Anyone seeking more introspection and spirituality but who lacks the time or wherewithal to tackle a heavy text should find this guide engaging. Reading this work is an easy way to avoid the anti-intellectualism that Wallace decries, leading to “a more purposeful lifestyle infused with Divine meaning.”
An absorbing and timely manual that defies simple classification and should appeal to readers of varying religious beliefs.