Way back when in the beginning of Lent, I was looking for words. I was hoping to inspire the writer within me. I was hoping to release my creativity with words. So I wrote morning pages and picked up a copy of this book.
In truth, I had pre-ordered it from the good people at Amazon. Because I had so loved her first book. It kept me company during another Lent some time ago. In just a few words, Rachel G. Hackenberg had inspired playfulness and wonder with the magic of words.
And now, she’s done it again. In her new book, Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-weary Christian, there is this same playfulness. There is same sense of wonder. In a book about words, it is not heavy with words. I don’t know how she does it. But, somehow, she manages to explore the gifts of language and living. There are these wonderfully keen observations about social media. Social media, of all things! Even as she comments upon this changing world, so that it might seem easy to be burdened by the weight of change, reading these words truly feels like a retreat. I was suspicious of this — especially after being led in a retreat on this very same material on a Clergy Retreat during my time in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. Because her energy was contagious and silly. It was delightful to hear these words leap off the page. (This manuscript preacher was also delighted to see her pay such careful attention to the page in this retreat.) I wasn’t sure if the same energy could be read. Because you can’t always hear the author when you’re reading. You can’t always hear her careful guidance and her gentle pushing. You can’t always hear the voice of the author. But, in this little retreat book, you can.
There is a presence in her words. She truly embodies each word and gives it her own flesh — just as she encourages the participants on this retreat to do. I needed this sacred pause. I didn’t finish it before Easter. I finished it several weeks later. But I really did need this sacred pause — and I bet you do too.