Challenges for the mind, soul and heart are well and good, but as Eldredge observes in his own book, there are times when rest is needed. No better spiritual rest can be found than in the new collection Firstlight: The Early Inspirational Writings of Sue Monk Kidd. Gleaned from a lifetime of writing, this volume offers beauty, inspiration and comfort in elegant prose. The author of the best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees, Kidd has selected devotional essays she wrote for Guideposts magazine to create observations on faith, compassion, grace, love and more. As Kidd says in her introduction, At the core of personal spiritual writing is a hunger for the wholeness, for self, for meaning. The question Who am I?' reverberates quietly in these pages, as does a willingness to be known. . . . Such vulnerability creates what we might call a soulful being together' between the reader and the author. A kind of communion born through the meeting of vulnerability and identification. Kidd's offer of communion results in a work that is both peaceful and inspiring, that calms the spirit while offering its own gentle challenges challenges to love more deeply and more fully, and to accept the presence God offers in every moment of every day. Howard Shirley is the author of Acts for God: 38 Dramatic Sketches for Contemporary Services. He writes from Franklin, Tennessee.

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