Discovering God': a deceptively simple book

By Bernadette Meaden
March 14, 2015

This beautiful little book is unusual and highly original. Written by a woman who has raised a family and is now living in a retirement home, it combines a calm simplicity with a profound faith.

The most striking feature of the book is the marriage of words and pictures. Each page of text is a separate meditation, and is accompanied by an illustration on the opposite page. These illustrations are charmingly and deceptively simple in style, but very expressive. They are, in the best possible way, like the illustrations in a children’s book, which bring the story to life and add another dimension.

This simplicity carries through to the language of the book, which is clear, direct, and eminently readable. Whilst being deeply rooted in the Gospels, with quotes and references where appropriate, the book is unburdened by theological jargon, and remains accessible to all.

Whilst the stated purpose of the book is to "discover in Jesus’ life, his words and actions, the Personality of God." the character of the author also comes through, as one of wisdom and experience. As the author says in her Conclusion, "I have tried to express in words and pictures the things I have learned. A personal viewpoint." It is a personal viewpoint, with the words and pictures giving this book a very distinctive and personal style, but it is one that will resonate with many people.

The book is not one to be read from cover to cover, but absorbed, one short meditation at a time. Its accessible language, simple format, and very attractive style make it a very easy book, in that it demands little from the reader, but gives much in return.

*Discovering God : A collection of illustrated meditations on the personality of God by Catharine Heron Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers Ltd. 2015

ISBN 978-0-85683-505-6

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© Bernadette Meaden has written about political, religious and social issues for some years, and is strongly influenced by Christian Socialism, liberation theology and the Catholic Worker movement. She is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor. You can follow her on Twitter: @BernaMeaden

Keywords:Gospels | faith | simplicity
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