A few months ago, my dear blogging friend Joy Lenton invited me and a few other friends to become a beta reader for her new book Sacred Noticing: Seasonal Glimpses of the Infinite. It felt like such a gift from God, as if He was inviting me into more of His waking up, which has been His call to me for 2022. And sure enough, as I began to read, God stirred my soul, uncovering and covering my heart with His sweet gifts of mercy.
Here follows my review of Joy’s beautiful book:
With each turning page and shifting season in Sacred Noticing: Seasonal Glimpses of the Infinite, Joy Lenton beckons us to be attentive to the touch of the Holy Spirit, no matter where we find ourselves. Drawing on nature’s praise of its Maker, she calls us to open our ears, eyes, mouth and heart to the Living Word of God.
As I soaked in Joy’s blessings and her poetry, I felt myself inhaling and exhaling the breath of God. The Holy Spirit slowed my heart to breathe easily again. Together with Joy, I could feel:
“the warming touch, the fall
of God’s footsteps in [my] heart”.
Christ’s gentle presence met me in an unexpected, personal and intimate way. Through the senses of touch, taste, hearing and sight woven into the fabric of the poems, God stirred precious memories from my own childhood and adult years in nature. As I now begin my own journey with a chronic heart condition, Joy’s words and testimony to the wide open spaces of God’s grace for us all, as we slow to listen for His call, are a balm to my soul.
As the missionary to Algeria, Lilias Trotter, put it so long ago: “If we can listen in the stillness, till our souls begin to vibrate to the thing He is thinking and feeling about the matter in question, whether it concerns ourselves or others, we can from that moment begin praying downwards from His throne, instead of praying upwards toward Him.” (21 March 1926, as quoted in Miriam Huffman Rockness’ A Passion for the Impossible, p.305). Joy’s beautiful book encourages us down that path of stillness, to wake up to Christ’s deep desire to pray and live through us, by the power of His Spirit, moment-by-moment.
On this Easter Monday, may the slowing of my husband and I to soak in the beauty of these tulip fields bless your hearts also. May God send the wind of His Holy Spirit to release the fragrance of His new life into your midst also, filling your hearts with fresh joy and strength.
# Please note I received an advance copy as a beta reader. This in no way influenced my review, which reflects my honest opinion and personal experience of the book.
Joy Lenton is a former nurse from Norfolk, UK. She’s a contemplative Christian writer, poet and blogger who loves books, dark chocolate, good coffee and great conversation. As an M.E and multiple chronic illness sufferer with a painful past, her mission is to encourage others to embrace hope in the hard on her joylenton.com and poetryjoy.com blogs.