A Review of
Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God
Reviewed by Kimberly Roth
Margaret Feinberg is one of those authors who walk with one foot in the evangelical world and one foot in the mystical. Or, perhaps a better way to say it is this: she walks the evangelical path in a mystic’s shoes. Either way, there may be those who find themselves uncomfortable on her journeys – either because she’s too “out-there” or because she’s too “in-your-face” (depending on your personal bent, of course).
Here’s the thing about Margaret Feinberg’s writing: she uses over-flowery descriptive language and metaphors in almost every sentence, and her evangelical slant occasionally borders on a Jesus Juke.
Here’s the other thing about Feinberg’s writing: I always come away challenged to listen for God in new and subtle ways.
“Our self-importance grows so dazzling, we don’t see you. But gentle Jesus, aren’t you always, aren’t you every hour, here?” – The Innocence Mission
In God Whispers, Margaret walks us through ways of hearing God. In The Sacred Echo she helps us discern how God speaks in themes and patterns. And now, in Wonderstruck, she invites us to pause, look around, and recognize the ways God shows up and is present all around us – in our ordinary, daily life experiences and encounters.
From the wonders of divine expectation (that God is active in our world at all) and God’s presence (that God is near, no matter our circumstance), Margaret continues to unwrap wonders for us to awaken to: creation, rest, prayer, restoration, friendship, forgiveness, gratitude, and abundant life.
This process of awakening is not necessarily an easy one. From the vulnerability that allows us to truly experience the gift of friendship, to the healing and wholeness that comes from learning the practice of forgiveness – opening ourselves to be wonderstruck means passing through some of life’s more demanding disciplines. But the freedom that comes from this abundant life of “loving God and others, taking risks, trying new things, learning to find joy in each day as a gift” – that freedom is worth the venture.
I’ll be honest, if you are uncomfortable with evangelical lingo and propositions, this is not the book for you. Thankfully, there is a great well of Mystics to draw from who invite us on a journey of wonder with God. But for those with a foot in both worlds, Margaret Feinberg’s Wonderstruck may be a path worth wandering down.