Email this review


A series of emotionally charged personal readings of Christian Scripture.

McDaniel’s passionate nonfiction debut is a combination of nuanced scriptural interpretation and old-school congregational exhortation—all centered around the centrality of love to the Christian faith and lifestyle. Citing again and again that the New Testament insists that the Christian God is love, the author celebrates the ineffable moment when one person chooses to love another, the moment that baptizes them and seals them forever in the life of Christ. “We were created for life, vibrant life, free from fear and pain, sorrow and, frankly, gravity,” she writes after reflecting on her son’s love of skiing. “We were created to love, fall head-over-heels in Love, be transformed by Love, and to rest…in Love.” Refreshingly, all this emphasis on love doesn’t deter McDaniel from occasionally indulging in some old-fashioned charged rhetoric about the hypocrisies of some modern megachurches. “They twist His holy word this way and that to fit the ‘God in the box’ that they have come up with,” she writes, adding sternly: “Jesus warns us of such doctrine.” And she likewise has sharp criticisms to offer individual believers who might wrap themselves in churchly behavior but sometimes forget the essence of Christ’s teachings. “Did you take time for the grocery clerk who just needed a smile?” she demands. “Or were you too busy looking at your church’s Facebook post on your iPhone? Jesus was inside her…waiting for you to look up.” These and other admonitions are rounded off with a simple “Pay attention.” She’s aware that this kind of no-nonsense accountability might make some readers stomp off in anger, but the book’s accessible prose and consistently upbeat message should keep such defections to a minimum, and the author’s optimism—“Call out to the God you are not sure is even there. He will answer. It’s not too late”—will make the book winning reading for her fellow Christians.

A heartfelt series of Christian meditations, heavy on both Scripture and uplift.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5127-5742-2
Page count: 298pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2017