Stunning exploration of the pain of unanswered prayer
This is a stunningly written, theologically rich, compellingly told memoir of a journey from alcoholism to sobriety, and from anger with God at unanswered prayer to a surrender to mystery. Seth Haines started drinking when his beautiful little boy - emaciated, weak - was seemingly dying of a mysterious chronic illness for which the doctors had no answers. The structure of the book follows his journal of the first ninety days of his sobriety - but it’s far more sophisticated than a ‘dear diary’ format - it’s beautifully structured and crafted, with story, reflection and theology interwoven together. The book is ostensibly on addiction, but actually the bulk of the book is about Seth’s inner journey to uncover the reasons behind addiction. What Seth Haines does superbly is deal with big questions of miraculous healing, what happens when prayers for healing go unanswered, and what it is like to live, suspended, in a state of chronic suffering. This is not just a book for those struggling with addiction, but for anyone who has ever struggled with unanswered prayer or a request for healing that was never answered. As someone who writes on the spirituality of suffering and lives with a chronic illness, I give this my highest recommendation - it is honest about the questions, and digs deep for - not answers, exactly, but a way through the questioning. The writing is a sheer joy to read. One of the best books I’ve read in a while - a must-read for anyone struggling with unanswered prayer or addictions of any kind.
*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review, which this is. I then went out and bought my own copy to lend to others.*