Musicians have their signature sound, and authors have their central themes. For Margaret Feinberg, a favorite refrain is the simple desire to know more of God. She writes to help others find “a passion, a joy and a delight in being a follower of Jesus,” she says. “That's what I do in every book. That's how I live my life. It's the question I am always wrestling with.”
After more than 20 books with sales totaling 600,000, Feinberg offers readers some of the answers she has discovered in Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God, published in December by Worthy Publishing. In it she reflects on ways of finding a new sense of awe through exploring creation, friendship, and gratitude.
A popular speaker who lives in Morrison, Colo., with her husband, Leif, and dog, Hershey, Feinberg's own hunger for more wonder was prompted by a terrible year. “We were embezzled, there was a cancer scare, an ongoing illness, broken relationships, and financial challenges,” she says. “Loved ones died.”
Recalling some of what they came through, and telling of inspiring people she met along the way, Feinberg hopes to encourage others who are “trapped in the mundane and the routine or beaten down by life” with a message that while there might not quick fixes, “it's exactly in those places God wants to reveal himself.”
In addition to the book, there is a DVD series filmed in the Canadian Rockies, and an online forum where readers are encouraged to post notes and share photographs capturing some of their moments of wonder. Feinberg also offers a musical playlist on the themes. “If ever there was a topic where we want a multi-sensory experience, it's the wonder of God,” she says. “We are living in a generation where encountering truth is not just words on a page, but often includes a live link or a video. This appeals to the different ways we learn.”
With her colorful writing, willingness to ask tough questions, and openness about some of her personal struggles—but all shot through with Bible reflections—Feinberg might in some ways be viewed as evangelical publishing's answer to Anne Lamott. She rejects the label of “confessional” writer, though, preferring the image of “a sherpa helping people climb higher in their relationship with God.”
Having been included in Charisma magazine's list of “30 people who will shape the church in the next decade,” Christian Retailing's “40 under 40” shaping the Christian publishing industry, and Christianity Today's “50 Women to Watch,” in recent years, Feinberg—still this side of 40—is asked what “60” list she would like to be on. “People who are joyfully, passionately, winsomely in love with Christ,” she tells PW. “Though I would like it to be a lot more than 60 people.”