A few months ago a friend mentioned on his blog that Margaret Feinberg has sent him a book for him to do a blog review. When I found out that he passed the book off to his wife, since he never reads I told him to tell Margaret that I would love to read her new book and do a review. In about a week Margaret sent me a signed copy of her newest book, The Sacred Echo, in the mail. This Internet thing creates some amazing community!
The Sacred Echo challenges readers not to listen for the seemingly distant voice
of God as much as to listen for the echo. When God really wants to get your
attention, he doesn’t just say something once, he echoes. He speaks through a
Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, and even a
random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in
surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is
at work. As God’s voice echoes to us, we are invited to echo back to him in
prayer. We are invited to be persistent and tenacious not only in the things we
ask but also in our desire for a relationship with him.
I have never read any of Margaret Feinberg’s books, nor have I had the opportunity to hear her speak in person. I have however been a follower of her blog, and have had her books recommended to me by many. I don’t know why I never picked up her books, mostly laziness I guess. If more authors would send me books, I guess I’d read more…
When I read non-fiction Christian books they usually fall into one of two categories. The first, and most popular kind are the books birthed out of a successful sermon series the author has done. I’m NOT knocking this approach, I’m just labeling them as mostly teaching in nature. The teaching can be challenging, but mostly it’s educational in design. The other category would be a book that is challenging to the reader through and through. The kind of book that makes me feel like the author has been impressed by God to write what is on their heart. I would put The Sacred Echo in the latter category.
Reading The Sacred Echo felt like reading a letter from a friend. Sure, it was teaching me things and bringing some insight to my life; but mostly it was speaking to parts of my own soul that only a dear friend would know about. Margaret has a fantastic communication style that disarmed me even when she was talking about some sticky topics. For example, Why doesn’t God always seem to answer our prayers? Does God care about my pain? Why doesn’t God answer my questions like I want him to? are some of the thoughts she speaks to. She consistently brings her points back to scripture and real-life experiences. It’s a rare author willing to expose her own doubts, fears, and mistakes in a book; and at times it made me uncomfortable (in a good way) to read about her own struggles in learning to hear God’s voice.
The Sacred Echo is a book that I highly recommend; more specifically it would be a wonderful small group study book or accountability partner study book. This might be my highest honor, but it could potentially show up in some Christmas presents I give this year!
Thanks Margaret for the gift!