We live the questions, holding one another’s feet to the fire.
We raise our kids and pray for each other on those “I’m a Rotten Mom” Days.
They know us at our worst, and they love us anyway!
They are our Soul Friends: What Every Woman Needs to Grow in Her Faith.
Dr. Leslie Parrot writes that these deep-spirited relationships are the essential element to the formation of her faith, but Soul Friends is no formulaic manual for finding or being a better friend. Dr. Parrott invites her readers to turn the pages and feel the warmth of a spiritual journey, lived alongside sisters-in-faith who believingly follow Jesus. Sharing the faith journey “where you are right now” is a process of living, obeying, loving and believing “right there,” in the context and with the people God has provided. This spiritual journey in company with one’s soul friends is marked by four major landmarks:
1. Quest: This is a recognition of one’s own adventure and involves finding the treasure of God’s will and, in the process, becoming a treasure for those we know and love.
2. Calling: God’s action plan for the traveler requires humility, for we are ever in the process of being stretched as we depend on God and the sustenance of our soul friends along the way.
3. Crisis: We travel an unknown road and find grace to meet the challenges. Dr. Parrott’s account reads like excerpts from a spiritual journal as she walks beside those who battle cancer, mourn the loss of a child, absorb the news of unexpected pregnancy, or manage the decline of a beloved parent.
4. Communion: The command to love one another is the essence and the destination of our spiritual journey. Travelling with soul friends, the expedition transcends the ordinary, yielding “fruit that remains,” (John 15).
Rich in supporting Scripture and following a framework of wise quotations ranging from Winnie the Pooh to Henri Nouwen; Harriet Beecher Stowe and Leslie’s own lyrical poetry, Soul Friends is realistic:
“No matter how deep the synchronicity of souls, there will always be gaps. True love wakes up every morning and recognizes the need to stretch stiff muscles that may even be sore from the work of loving the day before.”
It is inspirational:
” . . . a simple life freely given in love can transcend the boundaries of place and time, stretching across oceans and extending beyond continents and decades.”
Questions for consideration at the end of each vignette probe and push on the point asking, “How would this aspect of godliness look in your real life?” Each essay serves as a picture in Leslie’s album, compelling her readers to look around and ask, “Whom can I invite to share this adventure?”
We benefit from Leslie’s travels (South Africa, Maui, Italy!), her role models (missionary Gladys Aylward, Jean-Pierre de Cassade, Amy Carmichael), and her mile stones (a family move to downtown Seattle; mentoring a band of delightfully flawed females). Her quirky perspective and lively faith invite us all into “the ministry of presence,” which makes the presence of God visible in this world.
This book was provided by Zondervan through the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.
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