Book Review: God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh

I think it’s safe to say that most people in the world are broken. Some are in denial of this fact and some seem to embrace their brokenness not as a way to draw closer to God, or as a way to allow God to work in our lives but as an excuse for their shortcomings or even as a tool to receive sympathy and pity. As a Christian, we’re taught that to be broken is to be open to being used by God to glorify him and also as a way for us to draw closer to him.

The newest book by Sheila Walsh is a moving and honest exploration of what it means to be broken and how God loves us through it and to it. She states that it is OK to be not OK. Something that most of us are reluctant to do is admit that we need help or instruction or anything else from anybody.

Cover, God Loves Broken peopleWalsh gives great examples of people whose struggles have brought them into such an intimate and satisfying relationship with Christ that even though their pain, both physical and spiritual, continues they would not give it up if it meant they could no longer have that amazing closeness to our Lord.

One of the most powerful chapters deals with what Walsh calls the “sacred ache.” In it she explores how God transforms your hurts into something Holy. She gives examples of people who had endured devastating losses and life-long physical pain and yet they are not bitter or angry but have found an inner peace that cannot be explained or expected given the circumstances of their story. In one excerpt, one of her subjects says:

“…I have never understood how Christians who claim to follow the One who ended up hanging spread-eagle on the town garbage heap between two thieves could ever come up with the crazy ideas that life is easy, that we won’t suffer, and that God’s primary purpose in the world is to make us happy and to give us the good life.”

The man saying these words had lost his daughter, wife, and mother-in-law in the same car accident, leaving to raise his remaining children alone. Yet, he managed to walk through his grief and come out on the other side better for it and much closer to Christ.

Having had my own struggles, losses, and life-long illnesses, reading this book was a revelation and helped me to accept my own story and also accept God’s use of that story for his glory and as a way to draw me closer and closer to Him. This “sacred ache” is a thing I do not think a non-believer can comprehend and would no doubt call it nonsense. But…

“… God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”    (1 Cor 1:27)

I found this book to be painfully beautiful and truly a balm for the soul. I highly recommend it for any person in the midst of a trial in their lives.

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