When the Heart Waits

When the Heart Waits – by Sue Monk Kidd. I picked this book up after hearing Wayne Dyer mention it in a tape. It’s basically a spiritual memoir by the author of “The Secret Life of Bees”. It deals with a time of difficult spiritual transformation in her life. I can certainly see why Dr. Dyer loved it.

The book is profound, subtle, well written and well researched. Kidd comes from a Christian background and is fluent in the writings of such Christian mystics as Thomas Merton and Meister Eckhart, as well as more contemporary mystics and theologians. She uses these insights to guide her through the process of stripping away the false mask of ego and discovering the true self. The spiritual wisdom is very deep here. Here’s an example of her eloquence as expressed in a prayer in her journal:

I don’t want to live falsely, in self-imposed prisons and fixed, comfortable patterns that confie my soul and diminish the truth in me. So much of me has gone underground. I want to let my soul out. I want to be free to risk what’s true, to be myself. Set free the daring in me–the willingness to go within, to see the self-lies. I’ll try to run away, but don’t let me. Don’t let me stifle myself with prudence that binds the creative revisioning of life and the journey of wholeness. I’m scared God. Make me brave. Lead me into the enormous spaces of becoming. Help me cease the small, tedious work of maintaining and protecting so that I can break the masks that obscure your face shining in the night of my own soul. Help me to green my soul and risk becoming the person you created me to be. Tomorrow I may regret these words, but tonight I speak them, for I know that you’re somewhere inside them, that you love me and won’t leave me alone in their echo.

She draws on wonderful metaphors – the metamorphosis of a butterfly chrysalis she finds and brings home – the story of the Wizard of Oz, as well as biblical stories given fresh meaning and life.

This is a wonderful book for a Christian who is experiencing the uncertainty of spiritual growth and needs some guidance. I wish I had run into this book years ago.

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