I just finished reading He Restores My Soul. This book is a series of essays by twelve women, and a pastoral response from Rev. Rick Stuckwisch.
The book in many ways is both exhausting and liberating. It is exhausting, because of the vulnerability and courage shown by these women. They each have their own voice. They each have their own crosses to bear. Yet somehow, through it all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ shines through. They tell the story of the God who is ever present with His people, who walks with them through the valley of the shadow of death, and who never leaves their side, no matter what the trial. It doesn’t matter if they are talking about he burden of disease or death, single-hood or dementia, they share this language of faith in a way that I did not expect.
But vulnerability is exhausting. It lets other people into your life. It gives them a place a your table, and you at theirs. It’s why true vulnerability is so rare. It is easy to have a strange kind of pride in suffering and sorrow. LOOK AT ME, we might be saying. But that’s not the voices of these authors. They see their own weaknesses and fears. They see how Satan has tried to sift through them. But more importantly, they see what it means to be one in the body of Christ, in communion with God and with each other. It is a rare treat. I feel like I’ve had a peek into an important family conversation, and I am all the more blessed for it.
What I like the most about these essays is that they hit the challenges head on. They don’t sugar coat. They don’t turn the Gospel into the over sweet saccharine of the false hope of our age. Real sin demands a real savior, who really died, and really rose again from the dead.
At the same time, they all point us to the flesh and blood work of our Savior, drawing us in, walking with us, dying for us, and rising for us. This is no small task, especially in the face of so many challenges and hardships.
This book will probably be most enjoyed by women, although I don’t think that is exclusively so. I thoroughly appreciated it, and I hope and pray that each one of these authors continues to write more for the sake of the Church and those in need everywhere.
It is available for $18 plus shipping at Emmanuel Press by CLICKING HERE
You may also purchase it at Amazon by CLICKING HERE
There is also an Amazon Kindle version by CLICKING HERE
Rev. Todd Peperkorn, Pastor
Holy Cross Lutheran Church