“From the workplace relationship that seems always strained, to the family gathering where childhood hurts bubble up unbidden to the surface decades later, to the relationship betrayed—the unseemly, the unthinkable, the unforgettable—these are the wildernesses where God most lavishly spreads a table in the banquet halls of our hearts.” –from the Introduction
A Table in the Wilderness: Forty Days of Forgiveness looks to the wilderness landscapes of both mountain and desert as places in which a way to forgiveness can be found, from putting on the proper footwear to crossing over the threshold. The author guides the reader through the all-too-often challenging geography of places like resentment, justice, revenge, apology, and memory, among others. Rooted in the notion of journeying–of setting out each day to discover yet another peak in the mountain range, some new vista along the wide horizon of forgiveness–A Table in the Wilderness is divided into forty daily reflections, each based on an aspect of forgiveness. The meditations draw upon the wisdom of multiple religious traditions as well as non-religious sources in order to gain new perspectives on this long misunderstood subject. Readers are just as likely to encounter Dr. Seuss or Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as they are to read the words of Sri Ramakrishna or Saint Augustine along the way.
The book’s journey begins and ends with this assertion: not only is there a table of forgiveness set for us in the wilderness of this wild world we live in, there is a seat waiting for each and every one of us at that table. What matters is whether we take that seat (the choice is always ours) and, if so, how we behave at the feast.
Thom Rock leads us gently through the wisdom of the ages on a forty-day journey toward a forgiving heart. Setting aside unrealistic—and all too often unrealizable—expectations of apology or reconciliation, we find ourselves moving toward an inner transformation, finally allowing our defensive shell to be broken, our fists to be unclenched, and old hurts and resentments to be washed away in the healing waters of forgiveness. —Linda Klepinger Keenan, translator of Beyond Loyalty: The Story of Kibei ; author, with John P. Keenan, of I am / No Self: A Christian Commentary on the Heart Sutra ; and co-editor of Beside Still Waters: Jews, Christians, and the Way of the Buddha.
A Table in the Wilderness probes the theme of forgiveness in a beautifully written invitation to spend forty days and nights on a journey toward that place where ‘forgiveness becomes not only possible, but irresistible.’ With images, metaphors and examples drawn from a myriad of sacred and secular sources, and then wonderfully woven into 40 rich and inspirational meditations, Thom Rock offers us a refreshing way to discover and know in our hearts that ‘forgiveness is not something we find, but live.’ —The Right Reverend Thomas Clark Ely, 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont
In a powerful and inspiring spiritual guide, Thom Rock offers journeys to a more profound life that will resonate with both the initiated and the skeptics. This is a book for individuals, friends, and communities hoping for sparks to greater intensity and joy in their lives. —Dr. Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College, and author of, among other titles, Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus.
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