Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith

Kate H. Rademacher. Light Messages, $18.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-1-61153-223-4
In her debut, Rademacher explores how to listen for God’s voice. She grew up in a secular, liberal household where Christianity was never taken too seriously. As an adult, she was meditating at her husband’s Buddhist temple when Jesus appeared to her, and she was baptized a year later. The essential first steps of welcoming the grace of Jesus, she writes, are letting self-defenses fall away and being ready to accept God’s unexpected messages without fully understanding their meaning or reasoning. After years of salad-bowl spirituality, Rademacher felt she was not ready to receive his voice, but opening up to her true spirituality was about God’s readiness to adopt her and grace her with a calling. By holding an as-if attitude—embracing skepticism and idealistic optimism at the same time—she learns to open herself to his calling and the messiness of the world. Hearing the voice of God, however, does not result in utter clarity. Rademacher stresses that discernment is a “messy, slow process,” and that to struggle with doubt, grief, and anger is to open oneself to the practice of “paradoxical hospitality” and the receiving of God’s grace. She believes that one listens for God’s voice by saying yes to him, by being ready to serve rather than be served, and by glorifying him through one’s vocation and calling. Rademacher’s memoir is an honest portrayal of the confusion of discernment and the comfort of abiding and trusting in God. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 06/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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