During a dark time in my life, I read Lewis B. Smedes book Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve. Smedes has had a special place in my heart since then. When I saw his memoir I knew I had to read it!
The first things that are noticeable about Smedes' writing is his transparency, humility and gentleness. He does not come across as a pastor and writer who presumes to know all the answers and I respect that greatly. He gently and humbly shares from his own life. He does not hide behind a mask of a perfect and unrealistic Christian life. He freely shares both his dreary melancholy days, and his roses and sunshine days. By the end of the book I had tears in my eyes because of a man who was willing to reveal his inner-self.
Smedes begins his story with a short biography of his parents. Both his parents were from the Netherlands. His mother's father was Mennonite and his mother of reformed faith. Their story of how they met was interesting in that they were of different backgrounds and of a wide age gap; yet they blended their "mixed marriage" and made a life for each other. Smedes own father died when he was young and his mother struggled to provide for him and his siblings. Smedes went to college and seminary. Later teaching at prestigious universities and seminaries. During the 1950's he lived in Europe. Throughout his years of teaching, preaching and even writing; Smedes struggled against the feelings that, "he was the worst of sinners." He dwelled on inferior feelings and thoughts, and he readily acknowledged his wife as spurring him on in ridding himself of this toxic thinking.
Smedes also shares why he believed in the reformed faith, his thoughts on fundamentalism, transparency.
My favorite quote:
"...why we need more than anything else is the Spirit of love to open our eyes and ears to see and hear what is really going on in the heart and mind of the person to whom we are talking."
I loved this book and am grateful to the late Lewis B. Smedes that he was willing to share his life story on page.
Thank you to William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company for my free copy in exchange for an honest review!
Published by William. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2003
Link for book @ publisher:
Link @ Christian Book: