A disruptive and surprising journey through the Beatitudes.
Most of the time, life doesn’t work out like we expect it will. We spend time and energy trying to climb some sort of spiritual ladder, oblivious to the fact that it is God who is moving toward us.
We want answers to our problems, yet what is offered is presence.
What if we were to become united with our brokenness rather than our victories? What if God moves closest to us in the absence, the ache, and the longing?
Words from the Hill turns each beatitude on its head to see the unexpected beneath the understood–diving into the story of a woman on death row to speak about mercy, personal stories from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to talk about peace, and much more. Stu Garrard has walked with these people in their stories, and he vulnerably offers his own as he unpacks the Good News of the Beatitudes.
God is on your side, and He is closer than you think.
Publisher: NavPress Publishing Group
Publication date: April 18th 2017
What a powerful book this proved to be. Written by a member of the contemporary Christian music group called Delirious? it was a highly emotive and spiritually challenging book. The book was written in the form of personal reflections and discoveries made by Garrard in relation to the Beatitudes. Stu Garrard wrote many of this group’s songs, but these days he spends much of his time “… writing, recording, speaking, and leading worship …”. The reflections contained in this book aren’t just heard from Stu’s viewpoint but from many other people, for example we hear from Amy Grant, Amanda Cook, Audrey Assad, and Matt Maher.
The introduction begins with the story of Stu in hospital, where his wife was sitting in an emergency room. She had been unwell for some time and the doctor said she needed to have a blood transfusion as a matter of urgency. Stu’s description of how he was trying to comfort her reminded me of when my husband did a similar thing for me many years ago from complications of hysterectomy. Needless to say, Stu had my undivided attention and I had to just keep reading to discover what other gems he was going to uncover for me. Not only did he uncover other gems but he posed many challenges at the same time.
It is hard to narrow down what parts of this book meant the most to me, but one quote from chapter 3, which talks about being meek, comes close. When Stu says “The temptation to keep measuring myself against others who “do” awesome things is always with me, …” I thought to myself – “I’m not the only one who does this.” It was reassuring to know that this is a normal experience.
The rest of the book continued in this vein with challenges around almost every corner. I enjoyed it immensely and would love to read more of Stu’s work and to re-read this one at some stage.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
Recommend for: Adults