Simmons-Roslak and Orber (Dear Jesus, Dear Child, 2016) imagine encouraging love letters from God in this inspirational meditation guide.
Whether or not we consider ourselves religious, Simmons-Roslak and Orber argue that each of us, deep down, is hoping to be touched by God. Even so, the vast majority of us have inadvertently created barriers that keep us from recognizing the presence of God in our lives—even those of us who are actively searching for him: “Confused feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt and fear of divine retribution all create a smoke screen in which we attempt to hide our hearts and vulnerability from our very Source.” With this work, they hope to help readers dissipate that fog to allow for a clear channel for communication with the divine. The book comprises 63 sections designed to get readers into the right mindset for receiving God’s missives. Each begins with a quote from a prominent spiritual thinker followed by a microessay from the authors expounding on a related topic, a biblical quote, and a section entitled “Take A Moment To Listen,” which is meant to spur reflection. Also included are a guided meditation section and, finally, a place for the reader to record their thoughts and experiences. For example, one section begins with a quote from the philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich: “Doubt is not the opposite of faith, it is one element of faith.” Included essays attempt to defang doubt (“There is never a moment in time or in eternity when love would ever leave you alone in doubt”), while the guided meditation contains vast oceanic imagery. Simmons-Roslak and Orber excel at ensuring thematic cohesion in each section. They don’t simply repeat one idea in five different ways but rather order things so that it feels as though an argument is being assembled. Occasional typos and grammatical errors mar what is otherwise a well-constructed meditation guide that offers advice both Christian and universal.
A messy but thought-provoking Christian meditation manual.