About the Book
Book: Rest for the Justice Seeking Soul
Author: Susan K. Williams Smith
Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living/Devotional
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Susan K. Williams Smith is a minister and activist who has been on the front lines of social and racial justice for many years. As she has marched shoulder-to-shoulder to resist systematic oppression, she has heard the same question over and over: “How are we going to get through this?” Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul was birthed out of those cries.
Here is a soul-care manual for social justice-seeking believers who stand in constant vigilance against all forms of racial, class, and gender oppression. The fight for justice and equality is an exhausting daily grind—and the work is never over. That’s why it is incumbent upon all who speak and advocate for the less fortunate to practice self-care. You can’t fight when your tank is empty.
In response to the many calls and emails she has received from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression, she has created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12). Lift your gaze upward toward a better future by allowing God to restore harmony and focus in your soul and justice in your community. Our God is bigger than whoever is oppressing you. As the old hymn states, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”
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Would I describe this devotional book as restful? No I wouldn't. I would call it more like a Call for the Justice-Seeking soul because that was the vibe I got from reading it. The book was equal parts Scripture and social activism which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't what you expect. I'm not certain I agreed with all the theology inside, but I will say the author brings about a lot of reality of racism in our world that if we don't experience is easy to turn a blind eye to. I do think the church does not emphasize caring for widows, orphans, immigrants, refugees, the oppressed, and the poor as we should which is a clearly stated command in the Bible. Unfortunately, we allow our politics to decide our religion instead of just taking the Bible for what it says sometimes. Unfortunately, I felt this book was somewhat divisive, when I feel like unity is what is needed in this day and age in our churches. A lot can be said for tone even if you're speaking truth, and I feel like that's where the author may have been rather harsh- the opposite of restful. Overall, I would probably recommend this book for Christian social activists whether clergy or not as a devotional, or perhaps those looking to get involved in social justice, but I can't say it lived up to its' title.
I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are entirely my own.
About the Author
Susan K. Williams Smith is an ordained minister, musician, writer, and activist living in Columbus, Ohio. She has written for the Washington Post and Huffington Post, as well as her blog, Candid Observations. She currently serves as one of the tri-chairs for the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. She also serves as national scribe for the African American Ministers’ Leadership Council (AAMLC), and communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. The founder of Crazy Faith Ministries, she is a graduate of Occidental College and Yale Divinity School, and earned a D.Min from United Theological Seminary. Her previous book, Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, was published by Judson Press.
More from SusanIn response to calls and emails from friends, clergy, and strangers who are in utter despair and even deep depression in these political times, I’ve created ninety daily devotions to provide a daily spoonful of hope and encouragement, a healing balm for justice-seeking believers and social activists.
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CarpeDiem, December 20
Artistic Nobody, December 21 (Author Interview)
Just the Write Escape, December 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23
Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 25
All 4 and About Books, December 26 (Author Interview)
For the Love of Literature, December 27
My Devotional Thoughts, December 28 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Through the Fire Blogs, December 31 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, January 1
To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a finished copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.