Author(s): Joy Cowley
For centuries, western society has been embedded in Christian teaching. Now, for a number of reasons, this has changed. Surveys reveal that while 80% of the population believe in God, less than 20% attend a church, which means that the scriptural references cherished by many Christians have no meaning for a large number of people. Increasingly these people are coming to retreats, spirituality workshops and days of reflection.
These are outside religious structures, and are likely to remain so, but they are all seeking maps for the journey. As a woman said, "We are here because we are hungry". This book is a response to that need. The author has tried to clothe the word of God with new flesh. The notes in this book borrow from centuries of Christian devotion but leave out the church language that sounds alien to many.
Joy Cowley believes that she was prompted to write these notes in the company of the Master who said, "Others I have who are not of this fold".
From the section on Devotion:
Dear Friend, Your heart is leaning towards something so sweet you can almost taste it. You don't know what it is. You want more of it but you don't know how to satisfy that hunger. This secret, my friend, is hidden inside you, inside all creation. We too, don't know how to describe it with the mind, but we know it as our true reality, the eternal source of our being, and we call it God. -From Page 6
From the section on Healing:
Dear Friend, Compassion is not pity. Pity has a subject and an object, a hierarchy of effect. Compassion is about connection, a sharing of feeling, a recognition that we are all one. It is not that we are asked to carry each others burdens but to see that the others burden is also ours. No giver. No receiver. Compassion is walking together in the light of God's grace. -From Page 88
Remember we can always see the road that lies behind us but we cannot see what changes lie ahead.
Finalist in the 2014 Ashton Wylie Book Awards
Joy Cowley, is a much-loved & awarded New Zealand author of children's fiction, novels, and short stories.
Her first novel, Nest in a Fallen Tree (1967), was adapted into the 1971 film The Night Digger by screenwriter Roald Dahl. Following its success in the United States, Cowley wrote several novels - Man of Straw (1972), Of Men and Angels (1972), The Mandrake Root (1975), and The Growing Season (1979).
Cowley has also published several collections of short stories, including Two of a Kind (1984) and Heart Attack and Other Stories (1985). Cowley is known primarily for her children's fiction. Her children's novel The Silent One (1981), was made into a 1985 film; other works include Bow Down Shadrach (1991) and its sequel Gladly, Here I Come (1994).
She has written 41 picture books, which include The Duck in the Gun (1969), The Terrible Taniwha of Timberditch (1982), Salmagundi (1985), and The Cheese Trap (1995).
The Duck in the Gun and Salmagundi are explicitly anti-war books. She has been actively involved in teaching early reading skills and helping those with reading difficulties. Cowley is a patron and trustee of Storylines, the Children's Literature Foundation of New Zealand (CLFNZ).
These days her creative hours are divided between adult writing - articles, spiritual reflection material, stories and novels - and books for children.