Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times
by Bishop Michael Curry
with Sara Grace
Avery (Penguin Random House), 2020. 259 pages.
Review written May 24, 2021, from my own copy.
My church small group has been going through this book, at the rate of a chapter per week (with a 6-week break in the middle for a Lent study), and we’re finishing up this week. It’s been a wonderful book for discussion.
The tone is devotional, with personal stories from the bishop in every chapter. It starts out a little bit general about loving others, but does continue to specifics like loving LGBTQ people and loving people of different races and different political views.
He frames the book with each chapter having a subtitle that’s a question about love, a question he’s actually been asked. He begins with “What is love?” and “How do I find God’s love?” and continues through things like “Do I have to love even my enemy?” “How can love overcome what divides us and move us forward together?” and “Does love mean avoiding politics?”
I expected something with less depth than what I got. His willingness to delve into practical issues means the book challenges the reader, because we can all get better at loving.
And he’s also inspirational. I enjoyed the chapter “It’s Not Easy,” which had the question “I’m just a regular person – can my love have an impact?” No surprise, the answer is Yes, and that answer is proved by stories in the chapter. Here’s how that chapter ends:
It is impossible to know, in the moment, how a small act of goodness will reverberate through time. The notion is empowering and it is frightening – because it means that we’re all capable of changing the world, and responsible for finding those opportunities to protect, feed, grow, and guide love. We can all plant seeds, though only some of us may be so lucky as to sit in their shade. Since we can’t start twenty years ago, the best time to start is today.
And here’s how the book ends. (It’s not a Spoiler with Nonfiction! Here’s where this book will take you.)
When God, who is love, becomes our spiritual center of gravity, and love our moral compass, we live differently, regardless of what the world around us does. The world changes for the better, one life at a time.
So don’t give up on love.
Listen to it.
Give into it.
Love can help and heal when nothing else can. Love can lift up and liberate when nothing else will. May God love you and bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
You can think of this book as a compelling call to love.
Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Nonfiction/love_is_the_way.html
Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.
Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.
What did you think of this book?