Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Songs Of Assent, Carla A. Waterman

5 stars
Full disclosure: Carla was one of my college professors and a significant mentor in my life - so I am a bit biased toward her work.

This is a book of profound insight and pleasant invitation. Carla explores five feminine qualities as exemplified in Mary, the mother of Jesus. (These feminine qualities being: simplicity, receptivity, wisdom, confidence, & buoyancy). She explains that by defining "feminine" in this manner, "I am approaching gender as a symbolic expression of a larger reality that transcends biological or cultural definitions." In turn, she is inviting the reader to "locate the symbolic significance of femininity in a fundamental posture of receptivity toward God." (197) These qualities thus become "songs of assent" in our journey of faith and worship. Here is a guiding quote regarding the feminine qualities:
"I have come to understand wisdom as the crown jewel of these songs of assent. We are not specifically instructed to pray for simplicity, although it is the exquisitely freeing fruit of a heart that is enabled to say, "you choose for me - I trust you." And receptivity is the foundational motion of the redeemed soul as our gate is opened to receive the good seed of all God's manifold graces. In the chapters to come, we will see confidence and buoyancy as two specific in-graced responses to the soul's "yes" to God that are, in their own ways, an extension of wisdom's lovely fruit." (105-106)

Although written out of a passion for women and their relationship with Jesus, this book is by no means gender exclusive as these traits belong to all who honestly and humbly seek after God. I highly recommend this read as I found it to be a balm to my own soul and Carla's clear presentation through shared personal experiences and reflection on scripture make it one that does not come back void.

click here to visit Carla's blog related to the themes of this book

you can buy the book by clicking here

The book also includes several wonderful pen and ink interpretations of the feminine qualities done by her sister Pamela K. Keske's. See the illustrations by clicking here.

No comments: