Our faith is full of heroes who experienced God powerfully in solitude. From Hagar and the Hebrew prophets to Jesus in the wilderness to Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena, we see how escape from the toil and temptations of daily life can open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts to the still, small voice of God. In the vast desert or a tiny room, solitude–frightening for some and a welcome reprieve for others–is far from an antisocial self-indulgence but rather is an opportunity for transformation and empowerment to serve God’s people ever more deeply.
While most of us can’t take weeks–or even a few days–for private retreat, Holy Solitude offers readers thoughtful inspiration and practical devotional activities such as taking a solitary bus ride or baking a loaf of bread for a neighbor. Daily reflections introduce readers to figures in both Scripture and Christian history whose stories of discernment and discipline are a guide for our own spiritual practices as we seek to know God more fully and follow Christ more faithfully.
This book came to me toward the end of Lent when I was already engaged with several other Lenten devotionals so I waited until more recently to take a look at this devotional.
From the sub-title I suppose I was expecting something along the lines of Nouwen or Manning, or even something like Preston Yancey’s Out of the House of Bread.Â I was expecting something both poetic and practical.Â The devotionals are practical, but for me personally they lacked the poetic.Â I found myself missing the depth of beauty and the mystery that I was looking for in the writing style.Â The entries were just a bit too direct for me and I never found myself deeply connecting to the material.
Honestly, I can think of a number of friends who might really like this book.Â So, all in all I have to say it wasn’t for me, but I could see it being very good for logical, practical and straight-forward types of readers.Â I think that the discussion questions could be helpful for small groups or families that might want to work through this together.
I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and I am basing my review on the samples of devotions from each section that I engaged with as I decided I didn’t want to give it the time to engage with all the devotional entries.