Sunday, June 14, 2015

My Creative Peace Book Review: Between the Dark and the Daylight by Sister Joan Chittister


I discovered Sister Joan's work my first year in seminary.  I was still struggling with the call to go to school, take on such enormous debt and sit in a room with established pastors of churches from various denominations when, at that time, I had no idea the purpose for getting this type of training.  I felt no call to lead a church.  I would soon find out that I would not be able to take the next steps to become a chaplain in the military.  The only thing I knew for sure was I was sitting in a church that my mother had taken us to the first few months we moved to Arizona after having suddenly left Michigan and everything I had ever known - I was 14 years old at the time.  

The book I read was about the value of struggle in life.  This book came at a time when I was not only struggling with the decision to go to seminary but also the chaos of being newly married, becoming a stepmom, and feeling incredibly unsure what to make of my life.  I note here that this same semester was where the seed was planted of the value of faith and creativity through a billboard in downtown Phoenix which read "Art Saves."

Between the Dark and the Daylight is a modern day book of Ecclesiastes.  Sister Joan, through a series of essays, exposes our need to be safe at all times, so much so that we meticulously carve out the perfect life, controlling every moment like a chess game, developing strategies that cover two, three, four moves out so that we are NEVER faced with disappointment, discomfort, sadness, loneliness.  She challenges us to think this through more carefully.  The constant desire to control actually wrings the life out of LIFE.  The growth and depth that we constantly hear thrown around as the IDEAL life cannot be reached when chance and opportunity are choked out of the equation.  She remind us of the reality that even in our constant calendaring of each and every movement and engagement, life STILL has a way of throwing you for a loop.  Sister Joan reminds us that not only is that loop a valuable part of living life to the fullest but one that needs to be invited in.

I highly recommend this book and would suggest  that it is read together with a group who would like to challenged about the way we live life today.

NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.