My book is on my front porch and will be in bookstores June 1!
I can go fast. I can make decisions and get things done. But often I can go too fast. I can get sloppy, or miss the gift in something. I can process information and respond before things have a chance to settle in me, before I know how I am really feeling or what I really believe. I can overestimate how much control or say I actually have.
This book would not let me do that.
All along, this project has gone slower than I wanted it to. It simmered and
languished meandered, making me wait, and notice and linger with it. Something I'd written twenty years ago would tap me on the shoulder and demand to be included. I'd think the book was finished, then suddenly I would know the events of that very day were meant to be in this very chapter. The book took a long time to reveal itself to me, to come together in the way it was meant to. It would drag me along, and I would follow, not knowing where we were going, until it suddenly fit pieces together and said to me, See? It would not allow me to rush to conclusions; it wanted to tell me it when it was finished. And when it finally did, we we were into a pandemic, so publication was delayed, and it took a long time to become ink on paper between covers. I had to surrender to the process. Over and over again. To release my agenda and be carried along in trust. And so in this way, writing this book did for me what I am trying to talk about in the book: it slowed me down and invited me to be present in my life, in this life with others. To find God right here.
So it is no surprise that this book dragging its little feet has turned out to be a gift in another way as well. A pastor friend in Australia read my manuscript several months ago, just as Australia was about to reopen from pandemic lockdown. They said, "I returned to work this week... After the year that has been, I return feeling both overwhelmed and wondering just what will be left of us when all of this is over. Our church has been closed for close to 12 months now and we will regather for the first time in just a few weeks. On top of that, I don’t think I have ever felt so tired and wondering what I have to give. You have reminded me, dear friend, in such a beautiful, honest and gentle way, just who I am and what I am called to do, regardless of all that is uncertain. I can’t thank you enough."
The years long simmer and slow release of The Deepest Belonging means it is arriving in the world just a many of us are arriving back in the world as well. We are taking tentative steps toward resuming "normal" life. We're beginning to be with people again. Congregations are beginning to be together again. Life is amping up and pressures are resuming and there is strangeness and newness and grief and joy, and it occurs to me with some wonder and delight that this is precisely the moment this story is meant to meet us.
This book means to be a blessing.
It is here to remind you that we are going to be ok.
That God is holding us, and this whole world, in love.
That we are invited to slow down, and be present in our lives,
to be in this life, as it is, with those around us. And to find God right here.
I am so grateful to welcome The Deepest Belonging: A Story of Discovering How God Meets Us into the world!
Here's some nice things some people have said about it:
You can get The Deepest Belonging wherever you buy books, like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbooks.com, (internationally at places like Waterstones, Foyles, Dymocks), independent bookstores (like Bookshop online) my own local Winding Trails Books, and, I'm particularly tickled to say, it's apparently also available at TARGET. So when you go to buy toilet paper and lawn furniture you can also pick up MY BOOK! (If you do this, please send me a photo).