Wide-ranging collection of stories about encounters with the divine.
Robb begins his anthology with a description of the day in 1968 when he experienced a vision of God–a real individual standing next to him, exuding what he terms â€œlovingkindness.” The experience inspired the author to seek out and study other encounters with God, which are broadly defined here. Robb shares 150 of these stories, all relatively modern and nearly all anonymous. Readers will be touched by many of these accounts, such as that of the nurse who was moved by a higher power to transfer her energies from a frantic emergency-room scene to help a little boy say goodbye to his dying mother. Though many of the stories are inspiring vignettes that adherents to most any faith will find meaningful, others stray into a vague New Age realm, such as the tale of a young woman enjoying a seaside idyll and suddenly experiencing an intense feeling of connection to the beauty around her. Throughout, the author’s voice is limited to a brief introduction and conclusion, as well as a few opening words for each chapter. After wading through dozens of stories, readers will be intrigued to discover how Robb wraps things up. The four-page conclusion, however, is anticlimactic. â€œIf there is a single message in the accounts in this book,” he writes, â€œI believe it is this: God loves all of us without exception.” The author offers little explanation about how to put this knowledge to use, or what such knowledge really means, aside from the presence of warm, reassuring feelings. Few of the accounts provide a â€œnext step,” or a fuller analysis of what a kind and loving God means for the individual or for the wider world.
Batters home the oft-used maxim that God is love; but what comes next?