I think so.
Sometimes a book’s title grabs you, the synopsis intrigues you. Despite knowing you have a bit of a problem with something you’ve read without looking at the book, you think, “I want to see what that’s all about.”
That’s what happened with Rest for the Justice Seeing Soul. The title alone made me want to read the book. Although I disagreed with the author on one theological issue, I decided to request a free review copy. My disagreement had nothing to do with the content of the book, so why not? Right?
Going to be blunt but I hope not unkind or unjust. While I knew the book addressed the issues of social justice, I realized quickly that I am not the target audience of this book. What is probably encouraging and uplifting to the book’s intended reader is confusing and frankly, divisive to me.
After a dozen of the entries, well-written and relevant to the topic they’re supposed to address, I chose not to continue reading.
Please note: My reason for not finishing wasn’t because I was uncomfortable. It wasn’t because I like to live blind to the hurts and pains of others. And it wasn’t because I don’t think that people (all colors, past and present,) aren’t mistreated degraded, hated, or worse. It’s not that at all.
How the author chose to bring those facts into almost every one of the “meditations” I read, however, did bother me. These were meditations that are supposed to be seeing rest, and I didn’t see it. I want to view my fellow HUMANS (not just believers) as people Jesus died for. His children. Those He sees as valuable because they are His, not because of their skin color or what they and/or their ancestors have or have not endured.
The further I dove into this book, the more I felt an “us vs. them” thread. While I know there IS division in our nation/world, I don’t think believers are supposed to feed it. This book, for ME fed it.
Add to that my theological disagreement with her, and I chose to stop reading.
Recommended for those who hold the opposite view that I do. For those who are involved in social justice issues. Also, for those who like to understand all sides of issues as I usually do. This time it just didn’t work for me.
Rest for the Justice Seeking Soul is on tour with Celebrate Lit
Author: Susan K. Williams Smith
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Devotional
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Susan K. Williams Smith is a minister and activist who has been on the front lines of social and racial justice for many years. As she has marched shoulder-to-shoulder to resist systematic oppression, she has heard the same question over and over: “How are we going to get through this?”
Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul was birthed out of those cries.
Here is a soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. The fight for justice and equality is an exhausting daily grind—and the work is never over. That’s why it is incumbent upon all who speak and advocate for the less fortunate to practice self-care. You can’t fight when your tank is empty.
In response to the many calls and emails she has received from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression, Susan has created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12). Lift your gaze upward toward a better future by allowing God to restore harmony and focus in your soul and justice in your community. Our God is bigger than whoever is oppressing you. As the old hymn states, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”
About the Author
Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, musician, writer, and activist living in Columbus, Ohio. She has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post, as well as her blog, Candid Observations. She currently serves as one of the tri-chairs for the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Susan also serves as national scribe for the African American Ministers’ Leadership Council (AAMLC) and communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.
The founder of Crazy Faith Ministries, she is a graduate of Occidental College and Yale Divinity School, and earned a D.Min from United Theological Seminary. Her previous book, Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, was published by Judson Press.
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 19
CarpeDiem, December 20
Artistic Nobody, December 21 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, December 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23
Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 25
All 4 and About Books, December 26 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, December 27
My Devotional Thoughts, December 28 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Through the Fire Blogs, December 31 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, January 1
To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.