Brief, dramatic meditations on encounters between Jesus and a variety of figures, from Mary to Satan. Redding is not a scholar, and his approach is perfectly conventional--imaginative reconstructon of gospel scenes, with moralizing commentary--but what a writer! He has the gifts of a natural stylist: a compelling personal voice, a brisk, clear expository manner, a feel for the rhythms of prose. Unfortunately, however, the book is flawed in ways that even this remarkable eloquence can't mask. For one thing, the lessons Redding draws from the New Testament run along tamely predictable lines. The finding of Jesus in the Temple, for instance, evokes a plea for a more sympathetic treatment of rebellious adolescents. For another, Redding adds all sorts of novelistic touches which clutter the narratives they were meant to clarify. Thus, we get a picture of Martha as she ""looms red-faced in the doorway with her apron on, perhaps pointing in Mary's direction with a ladle,"" and similar flights of fancy. But Redding's uncritical use of Scripture, while it may make exegetes wince, will presumably not bother most of his readers. They will be looking for warm, lively, straightforward devotional reading, and they'll find plenty of that here.