Brief Reviews, VOLUME 1

Brief Review: THIS LITTLE LIGHT: LESSONS IN LIVING FROM SISTER THEA BOWMAN [Vol. 1, #40]

A Brief Review of
THIS LITTLE LIGHT: LESSONS IN LIVING FROM SISTER THEA BOWMAN
by Mickey McGrath.

by Chris Smith.

I was unfamiliar with the powerful story of the African-American nun, Sister Thea Bowman, until I read Modern Spiritual Masters earlier this year. Not long after I read and reviewed that book, I heard that Orbis Books was going to be releasing a book about Sister Thea, and I was eager to get my hands on this book and to learn more of her story. When I received the book, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not your typical biography! Written and colorfully illustrated by the painter Brother Mickey McGrath, an oblate of St. Francis DeSales, this book is a vibrant tribute to a sister whose life was an equally vibrant witness to the way of Christ. This Little Light traces Sister Thea’s life from her childhood in the racially-troubled Canton, Mississippi in the 1940’s and 1950’s, through her work with the “Jubilee Singers” choir and her illustrious academic career to her untimely death of cancer at the age of 52. Infused with the imagery of Thea Bowman’s story, that of traditional African-American Gospel songs as well as that of his own personal journey, it is McGrath’s colorful paintings and calligraphy that carry this book. How appropriate it is to render so beautifully the life of a sister whose calling was to remind us of the beauty and love of the Creator-God that saturates every nook and cranny of creation! This Little Light cries out for us to immerse ourselves prayerfully in its pages, remembering the great light of Christ that shines in the radiant gifts of both Sister Thea and Brother Mickey.

Mickey McGrath.
THIS LITTLE LIGHT: LESSONS IN LIVING FROM SISTER THEA BOWMAN

Hardback. Orbis Books. 2008.
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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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