In God's Hands: The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book, 2015

Desmond Tutu. Bloomsbury, $23 (160p) ISBN 978-1-62040-976-3

The book is small, the print large, and the white space plentiful, but the message is not negligible. The alternately gritty and soothing content nourishes the reader. Tutu (Made for Goodness) weaves the vicious years of South Africa's apartheid throughout this meditation. He deftly balances past with present, drawing from history and the Bible, lacing his message with characteristic humor at human folly and righteous indignation at injustice. In the first part of the book, Tutu addresses the subversiveness of the Bible, the "complementarity" of family, and a God eternally biased toward love, love itself, and grace; he titles the last chapter, "In the Beginning, God; at the End, God." Each chapter ends with discussion questions. Attentive readers will find playful language and rich metaphor that links common language and biblical imagery. For example, he suggests that if humans, God's stewards, do not care for the planet, "it will be curtains for us," but, later, he recalls the biblical "curtain in the temple." Part two is a 2014 interview with Tutu. The archbishop's thoughts are, as ever, simply rendered but profound.(Jan.)