I haven’t updated “What I’m reading” in way too long, but I’m now reading two books which I’d like to pass along.
The first is A Grace Disguised, how the soul grows through loss, by Jerry Sittser. As many of you know, I have gone through a lot of loss in my own life. Consequently I am cautious about recommending books about loss. I am only half way through Jerry’s book, but I can highly recommend what I’ve read so far. He lost his wife, his mother, and his four-year-old daughter within minutes of a head on car crash caused by a drunk driver. Some excerpts:
“All people suffer loss. Being alive means suffering loss.”
“I question whether experiences of severe loss can be quantified and compared. Loss is loss, whatever the circumstances. All losses are bad, only bad in different ways. No two losses are ever the same. Each loss stands on its own and inflicts a unique kind of pain. What makes each loss so catastrophic is its devastating, cumulative, and irreversible nature.”
“Sudden and tragic loss leads to terrible darkness. It is as inescapable as nightmares during a high fever. The darkness comes, no matter how hard we try to hold it off. However threatening, we must face it, and we must face it alone.
“Darkness descended on me shortly after the accident . . . .”
“Loss forces us to see the dominant role our environment plays in determining our happiness. Loss strips us of the props we rely on for our well-being. It knocks us off our feet and puts us on our backs. In the experience of loss, we come to the end of ourselves.
“But coming to the end of ourselves, we can also come to the beginning of a vital relationship with God. Our failures can lead us to grace and to a profound spiritual awakening. This process occurs frequently with those who suffer loss. . . .”
I’ll talk about the second book tomorrow.