Facing hard truths about our throwaway culture
The Stranger in the Woods left me with questions and connections that made this random purchase in an airport bookstore worth it. So take it from this stranger—this extraordinary book can speak to your life. And remember, the ways of God are often strange.
If all we hope for after we die is to live as disembodied souls floating in the clouds as part of a heavenly choir, I’m just not interested. I love pizza way too much to ever believe in that kind of eternal destiny. I love apple crisp way too much to even entertain the idea that heaven would deprive me of what is so wonderful and pleasurable about being an embodied person. I’m holding out for a resurrected body with taste buds intact.
Brown’s research on leadership reads like a series of stories from a friend. Her witty insights and personal failures invite us as readers to consider our own stories, the ways we have led with courage and vulnerability, and the new paths we must take forward. This book has challenges and encouragement for anyone who desires to lead with their whole self, in or out of the workplace.
All funerals and memorial services are hard in their own way. Loved ones cry, friends struggle to speak suitable words, and family members hold up the best they can under the weight of sorrow. Every funeral hurts. —But some burn.
Waheed’s poems give readers permission to sit with their pain and hold themselves gently in it. Readers are given permission to listen to the Spirit and work for their own thriving and the thriving of all in the spaces God has placed them.
Through practice, I’ve learned to use those very moments as markers to look for God’s presence. I’ve added “found moments” to the spiritual practices I pursue, and they have become as important to my spiritual health and connection with God as planned times of prayer, silence, or reading Scripture. The difference is that I don’t put them on my schedule—I let the Holy Spirit remind me to find the time throughout my day.
I was intrigued about the idea of walking a labyrinth and had made some half-hearted online searches to find one near me. But my first encounter was much different than I had imagined. I was co-facilitating a workshop, and my partner started the day by handing out a sheet of paper with a labyrinth printed on it. We were instructed to trace our finger along the path while listening for how God might speak. To say I was skeptical is an understatement. However, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a try.
Whenever I hear Austin Channing Brown interviewed about her book I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, one of the first questions she is asked refers to the opening line of her book: “White people can be exhausting.” It’s more than just a provocative first line—it sets the tone of the book. It’s a signal to readers that Brown is not going to dance around the truth in this space.