“Affluence, safety, and comfort can dull our souls.”
-Ashley Hales in Finding Holy in the Suburbs, p.117
I finished this book two days ago and I already want to reread it.
Finding Holy in the Suburbs by Ashley Hales is a critical, theological discussion of how where we live shapes our faith. This is not a superficial about finding ways to feel better about where you live. This is a calling out and a deep reimagining of what it looks like to live where we do as people of faith. Each chapter is a chance to think a little more critically, but also a little more openly about what these issues could teach us and where to go from there.
I love that this book has practical suggestions for ways to find holy and God in the place where we are currently. Hales identifies the hazards of suburban living and then gracefully shows us theological beauty behind it and the practical steps. We can embrace our own life in the suburbs and love Jesus and people well in a way that makes our theology more real in our everyday lives. We don’t have to be missionaries to a faraway place; we do have to be willing to think critically about how our normal daily existence forms our faith. It’s not about changing/forsaking our normal, but it is about shaping our hearts closer to God in the midst of our normal.
And then we stepping out in faith to a place that is more Jesus-filled.
“We must start small and start somewhere if we’re not going to be overwhelmed and do nothing.” p,158
A few more quotes:
- “We seek the hit of retail therapy to replace the deep, abiding sense of belonging with the God of the universe.” p 22
- “We need the pricks of exile to see how far we’ve traveled, even when we’ve done all the right things and live cozily wrapped up in our suburban homes.” p 43
- “By staying busy, we imagine our movement will save us.” p 51
- “When our lives are hid in Christ’s, we move outward. Enfolded in the deep love of God, we can begin to live an openhearted life.” p124′
- “Shalom isn’t about your feelings about God. The good news is that God himself will be your shalom in every place, in every nation, and in every culture.” p 149
- “I may be sent elsewhere, but I am not called to hide behind my fear or privilege and do nothing.” p 152
This book is knowledgeable, circumspect, courageous, and absolutely necessary. Make sure you find a copy of Finding Holy in the Suburbs. Your life and how you think about where you live will be enriched. You can follow Ashley Hales on her website, and soon podcast!
This month I am joining the #write31days community to explore the idea of the Whole Together Family because I believe we get be who God created us to be – together. Find the whole list posts here or click on the image.
(Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, I was not paid, all opinions are my own!
Also: the amazon affiliate links in this post make me a few cents to support this site if you purchase something. Thanks!)