I think most of us have had days where God feels distant. I am also a firm believer in that old saying that says when God feels far away, it’s not Him who moved, so I was more than a little intrigued when this was offered for review from FaithWords. I have had these times here and there, usually in the midst of busyness and some of the disappointments that have happened all the years. I decided to request the book.
First off let me say I wasn’t sure I would like the book. While the overriding theme was one I knew hit home, I also knew there would be difficulties. First of all, it’s a devotional style book. I don’t usually do devotionals. I don’t have a problem with devotionals, but my usual devotional reading is straight from the Scriptures so this would be a stretch. Secondly, I knew I would not have 40 days to devote to this reading. I usually try to post my reviews within two weeks of receiving a review copy. The most telling reason I thought I might struggle was because of how little I have in common with the author. She is a young woman, I am an old(er man). She is a fairly new parent, my kids are grown and I’m a fairly new grandparent, so we’re at vastly different stages of life, lastly while we are both Christian, her Anglican faith tradition is far different than mine. Even with all these differences (I’m probably nowhere near her target market), I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.
The idea behind Attend, is pretty well summed up in the sub-title of the book: Forty Soul Stretches Toward God. You’ve no doubt at one time or another asked someone to pay attention. That’s what it means to attend and Davis-Werezak approach here is to help us give God our attention through a series of 40 disciplines and practices designed to redirect our focus. While many of these are obvious, she takes them beyond surface level and helps the reader to go deep. As you read this book, it becomes really clear that these “stretches” were born out of a real-life struggle to come into a stronger, better relationship with God. Her faith perspective and frequent references to the Book of Common Prayers, really intrigued me and made me think perhaps there is something to a more contemplative approach to faith and devotion.
This book was a strong effort that I really enjoyed. I think I am going to keep this on on my shelf for a slower time when I can do the “stretches” day by day. It’s clear this book could help a lot of people in this world where a million things are constantly competing for our attention. This is a well-written book that I really recommend.