'The Beautiful Ache'
By Leigh McLeroy
CBN.com Humans seem to be born with a spiritual hunger for something they can’t quite name. Writer Leigh McLeroy calls it “the beautiful ache,” a fleeting pang that says, “There’s something more than this life.” Her new book describes a “wide-awake living” that embraces that yearning, yet is immersed in the here and now, with all its beauty and pleasure, messiness and pain.
The Beautiful Ache: Finding the God Who Satisfies When Life Does Not (Revell) is inspired by a C.S. Lewis comment, “‘If you find in yourself a desire which no earthly thing can satisfy, the logical conclusion must be that you are made for another world. That other world – heaven – echoes in you,’” McLeroy says.
It may leave you feeling unfulfilled, for the kingdom of God is a paradox: it’s both present and yet to come. “It overlaps the edges and sometimes intersects the heart of this world. In those moments, our desire is most keenly felt. We’re not sure whether to deny the disappointments of everyday life or dive deeper and plumb their depths,’ McLeroy says.
McLeroy encourages you to go deeper. The “beautiful ache” points you beyond daily life, and is not meant to be put off with food, drink, or busyness. Rather, you can learn to simply sit and “joyfully taste heaven one exquisite morsel at a time without feeling the need to either push the smallish plate away, or lick it clean, demanding more.”
Weaving personal stories with biblical narratives, McLeroy probes a specific “ache” in each of the seventeen chapters. She mines spiritual lessons from joy and heartbreak, and from more mundane experiences. Filled with fear and fatigue after fleeing a category-five storm headed for Houston, she reflects on the ache of travel. While sky diving harnessed to someone she’d just met, she meditates on the ache of trusting. Acknowledging that her dreams of marriage and children look less and less likely as she gets older, she confronts the ache of hope.
Life on earth will bring pain – separation, failure, uncertainty, unfulfilled plans. McLeroy’s wise and compassionate reflections show there is a way to live in the gap between life hoped for and life as it is; remaining open to beauty and joy in the midst of a sometimes painful world.
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Leigh McLeroy writes and speaks with a passion for God and a keen eye for His presence in everyday life. A former ghostwriter with seven books to her credit, Leigh’s first solo effort, Moments for Singles, was published in 2004. She was a contributor to Rebecca St. James’ Sister Freaks in 2006, and is also a feature writer and creator of Wednesday Words, an e-mail devotional with a life of its own. A frequent conference and event speaker, Leigh makes her home in Houston, Texas, where she is raising Owen – who may be the most adorable spaniel ever named after an Inkling, a John Irving character and a Puritan preacher.
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