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Book Review: "Firstlight" by Sue Monk Kidd

by Sue Monk Kidd

Things are not as they seem; Sue Monk Kidd sees deeper, through spiritual eyes. Firstlight is a collection of her early writings, moments of seeing the sacred in the ordinary.

Perhaps that is the appeal to me—her way of seeing life as I long to see it. She kneads her personal stories into refined spiritual insights, drawing out the God-meaning in each one. She uses the inner tale to transform, by “reorienting us to new truth and insight, breaking open the hidden holy that dwells in our experience.”

Some excerpts:

The truth is that there is a “monk” who lives in me, an archetypal monk whom I must honor and allow to be. This monk craves the depths of solitude and silence and has, at times, a searing passion for God and an almost raging empathy for creation.

She is the part of me that wants to come out in
cataphatic celebration—dancing, writing, and painting my spiritual journey. She is also the part of me that wants to enter the apophatic darkness of no-thing.

Mostly she exists in the midst of an incredible interweaving of noise and music that flows through my life. I am referring to music as a metaphor for the realm of Divine presence, and to noise as a metaphor for the realm of Divine absence, or to be precise, the place where we are not in touch with the experience of God’s presence.

..Eventually, though, we face a significant question: Can we perceive God in the raucous noise of living, just as we perceive God in the beautiful music of interior spiritual experience? Can we meet God in dog-barking and traffic horns and whining children and the infernal drone of television?

Yes. Thankfully, we can.


lynn Severance said...

OH course I LOVE your LisaNotes today!

Isn't Sue Monk Kidd a blessing as she gives encouragement to us to go "deeper" in all ways from the "dog barking" to God's wooing us internally to meet with Him?

I find so much meaning in these earlier writings she has given us.

Thanks for sharing her with your readers, Lisa!


Lisa notes... said...

Lynn, thanks for recommending her to me! I could hardly put the book down. Excellent.

But I am SO bummed now--I've been saving "The Secret Life of Bees" to start today on my trip, but I left it at home instead. So it will have to wait a little longer...

Here's another book I'm reading that reminds me so much of "Firstlight":
"A Beautiful Ache" by Leigh McLeroy. I highly recommend it, too.

lynn Severance said...

LIsa, I had a P.S. thought and decided you most likely would find it here where you do come each day. Now I find your note to me so I am glad I came back to this posting! Thank you for your book recommendation. I will look into it for sure.

My P.S. was about Cracker Jacks. Yes, from Sue's beauty to sticky sweets. I did eat the popcorn and peanuts but if my memory serves me right, I looked for that prize FIRST. There may be a lesson in that....the prize coming later after we work through all the sticky parts of life.

I got curious about whether they still make Cracker Jacks as there are so many specialty snacks nowadays and Wikipedia has a page on them. You may have gone there doing your research. It was interesting to revisit that piece of Americana.

I hope your trip is all that it is intended to be. As to leaving the BEES behind, well, it just means that it is to be enjoyed at another time, perhaps a better time. I've found that true about many books in my life. So many come at the perfect time for my needs. God has a hand at arranging that, I am sure.


alisonwonderland said...

I really enjoyed Firstlight. It was great to read a little each Sunday morning for a number of weeks.


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