The following is another review of my book from the Patheos Book Club. This one was written by Bruce Epperly, a theologian, spiritual guide, pastor, and author. He posted this review on his blog, Living a Holy Adventure.
Listening for the Still, Small Voice: Reflections on Kristen Vincent’s Book A Bead and a Prayer, by Bruce Epperly
“God was not in the wind…God was not in the earthquake…God was not in the fire; and after the fire, the sound of sheer silence.” (I Kings 19:11-12)
We are people, used to noise and constant communication that often fragments and distracts rather than unites and focuses. At my local Cape Cod market, I sing along with the golden oldies, often inspiring chuckles and raised eyebrows from fellow shoppers; some even join me in song. As I sip my latte at a local coffee house, there is gentle new age music in the background. In the mall, there is the competition of songs vying for your attention as you pass each store. With the sound of the beach surrounding them, people run with ear buds and iTunes, somehow finding the morning news or cool jazz superior to the gentle ocean where they come for holiday. Sitting around the table at a local bistro, I see four twenty-somethings text to friends before, during, and after dinner, looking up occasionally to acknowledge each other.
Our lives are so noisy that we sometimes are surprised when we are confronted by sheer silence. The noise mirrors our busyness and constant inner chatter. God is everywhere – that’s the meaning of omnipresence – and God can speak through any media, including elevator music and text messages, but sometimes we need to pause to more fully and explicitly experience God’s whisper – the still, small voice – amid the sound track of our lives. As one translation of Psalm 46 counsels, we need to “pause awhile and know that I am God.” In pausing, we may hear the inner music of our lives and discover a deeper soundtrack from which we may find guidance, direction, peace, and challenge.
Kristen Vincent’s A Bead and a Prayer invites us to pray with our hands, joining intentionality with motion, letting, to paraphrase an old-school Yellow Pages commercial, our fingers do the praying. In praying with beads, we still the inner and outer fidgeting and may encounter a deeper, gentler, more pervasive rhythm moving through our lives, the breath and heartbeat of God, synching with our own breathing and beating. Read the rest of the article here.