How do you forgive a person who has hurt your deeply? Why forgive someone who does not deserve to be forgiven? Forgiveness is not easy, and often we discover that the person who needs to be forgiven the most is ourselves. As we forgive others and ourselves, we find that we are the ones who have benefited--forgiveness brings a peace to our lives that no one can take away from us.
Learning to Forgive: A Memoir of Doubt and Faith is the author's personal journey of forgiveness from a spiritual and psychological point of view. The book shows the reader how they can use their relationship with God, the resources of the Christian faith, and their psychological understanding of themselves to learn how to forgive. As readers see that pastors are not immune to the challenges of everyday life, nor are they spared from abusive backgrounds, they will be encouraged to embark on their own journeys of forgiveness or receive strength and hope for a journey already started.
""In his moving prose, Presbyterian minister Walter Smith, the spiritual, sensitive son of difficult parents, surprises the reader with his honesty as he goes full circle, from faith to doubt to faith again, in an oftentimes wrenching but ultimately triumphant memoir that reminds us all what it means to be human, and what it is to forgive and be forgiven.""
--Carolyn Walker, author of Every Least Sparrow and A Mother Runs Through It
""Every minister has a personal story to tell about the deeply human story behind the making of a minister. Walter Smith has written a compelling odyssey of the spirit, illuminating just how we all are formed from a matrix of family and community that in large measure determines who we become and what we grow to believe about God. I commend it to every person interested in the riches of reflection upon both the heartrending and the sacred meanings of a life, including one's own.""
--Charles Davidson, author of Bone Dead and Rising: Vincent van Gogh and the Self Before God
""The influence of the author's life events on his faith and choices is clear and well-illustrated in this book. His open and honest sharing will be an encouragement for people who feel all is lost when they face struggles.""
--Pat Sova, Licensed Professional Counselor
About the Contributor(s):
Walter R. Smith, is a retired Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor living in Virginia. He has been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Chrysalis, the Journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, Church Teachers--Journal of the Association of Church Teachers and National Teacher Education Project, and the Bulletin of Psychological Type. He is a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Association for Psychological Type. A significant part of his career was spent in the educational ministry of the church where he wrote and published church school curriculum, and taught teachers how to teach. He and his wife, Maureen, have been married for thirty-nine years and they have two sons and a daughter-in-law: Damon, Bryan, and Tori, and a cat, Tigger.
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)|
Table of Contents
List of Images ix
Preface: The Sins of the Fathers xiii
1 I Believe, But Why? 1
2 The Promise 15
3 Beauty and the Beast 31
4 The Jesus Nut 42
5 It's Not Easy Being Small 68
6 No Place to Hide: The Call to the Ministry 83
7 Dad, No Dad 115
8 I Give Up, God: Forgiving my Mother 128
Appendix: The Struggle of the Soul, A Sermon 149