Christine Aroney-Sine’s The Gift of Wonder invites childlike joy back into faith through creative practices.
“I grew up with a serious, workaholic type of God,” Aroney-Sine begins. Many Christians can relate. For them, the book has two questions: What do you enjoy about God? And what about you gives God joy? Some people are stumped by these questions, but the book includes answers from others who bring forth themes of play, creativity, and curiosity. Do such elements belong in the context of serious religion? The book answers with a resounding “yes.”
A blend of Aroney-Sine’s story of spiritual discovery, studies of other people of faith, and biblical passages that show that wonder is at the heart of the Christian faith, the book examines themes like rest, gratitude, and nature. It provides accessible creative practices for increasing the depth and breadth of faith. These practices are largely designed to be between an individual and God, but some consider how faith impacts others, too. Some have roots in centuries-old practices like the prayer of examen; others are inspired by less religious sources, like Alice’s words from Lewis Carroll’s classic.
The book is a perfect blend of the philosophical and practical, and both approaches are shown to be vital. In order to understand the gift of wonder, it says, Christians need to drastically change their mindsets about faith. The book includes ways to cultivate a sense of wonder alongside other people of faith, too.
The Gift of Wonder is warm and inviting, thoughtful and sincere. Its calm, persistent playfulness chips away at the too-serious facades of faith, uncovering a joyful faith that is refreshing and deep. Its tools and exercises will help Christians more fully embrace God by diving into childlike wonder.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.