Book Review: It’s Really All About God – Reflections of a Muslim, Atheist, Jewish, Christian by Samir Selmanovic, Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA Copyright © 2009 by Samir Selmanovic.
Enjoy a video preview of the book here:
This book made me glow.
What would hope say, after silently holding its breath?
The book begins with the following insight:
“Our children are looking at us, holding their breath in silence. Their unspoken accusations and mute hopes are not only about the physical environment of the world we are leaving them; they are also about the spiritual environment they are inheriting.”
In this phenomenal work of the heart, Samir Selmanovic exhales and breathes life into words, capturing the essence of what millions have been silently hoping, holding their breath, unable to speak. This is a work of faith, as defined by Selmanovic; “to set one’s heart on and forge a working relationship with a mystery.”(p.270).
It is a profound invitation to reconciliation for all human kind. Samir weaves his own personal faith journey into the story that adds tremendous texture and legitimacy to the invitation he is extending. The writing is superb. The story-telling is tremendous. The prejudice piercing truths will rearrange the composition of your heart.
Over the past several years, my wife and I have had the opportunity to invite Muslim high school students from other countries to live with us here in our home for the school year. Our objective in doing so had nothing to do with proselytizing another. It was acting on a sense that perhaps “the other” might somehow change us. It was an act of opening our lives to embracing the living mystery of what God may have for us to learn, to grow, to understand, to change. Samir Selmanovic captures the essence of our experience when he writes:
“When God visits us through the other, we are awakened and begin to feel what we could not feel before, we see what we could not see before, and we think what we could not think before. In the presence of the other, everything changes.” (pp.260-261).
This book is an invitation to experience the beauty of celebrating this life God has bestowed upon us as a gift – together. It is call for action dedicated to intentionally discarding the illusions and breaching the artificial boundaries that continue to separate us from “them.” It is a heart rendering summons to live the next dimension of human existence by embracing the beauty offered through how our faith persuasions “complement and illuminate one another.” (p.XVII).
This book made me glow with hope – a fresh, new hope: A hope worth living.
One of my Top 3 books for 2009. Buy it. Bask in it.