“In a world full of rushing and busyness, Ruth Haley Barton offers an Invitation to Solitude and Silence. Though once considered a vital part of Christian discipline, today's Christians find solitude and silence terrifying at worst and avoidable at best.
“Barton leads the reader through her own quest from a frantically busy life that left her angry and dissatisfied, to a place of peace. Being alone in silence before God played a major role.
“Using the example of Elijah in I Kings 19, Barton describes the stages of drawing close to God through silent times with God. She reflects on our reluctance to disconnect ourselves from activity and on how God uses our silent times time confront our souls with the issues that hinder our walk with Him.
“Barton makes herself vulnerable in this intimate look at the issue. Written in a warm conversational style, the book includes suggested practices at the end of each chapter. Readers may wish to include it as part of their devotional reading.
“Although I disagree with some of her on women pastoring churches, I found the book helpful and enjoyable and would recommend it.” – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
To seek to fill a book with words about moving beyond words into solitude and silence is a daunting task; it is laughable really, if one sees the irony in it all. I have found myself . . . drawn to the task and yet somehow strangely resistant. On the one hand, I have been drawn to the task because my journey into solitude and silence has been the single most meaningful aspect of my spiritual life to date. . . . On the other hand, I am aware of the continuing challenge solitude and silence represent in my own life. Even though it has been well over ten years since I first said yes to God's invitations to enter more intentionally into these disciplines, I still find it challenging to protect space for these times apart which so deeply satisfy the empty places of my soul.
Ruth Haley Barton describes how she has discovered the real presence of God--the God who is present through the practice of solitude and silence. Her book invites you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. It is a call to the adventure of spiritual transformation--an adventure that will lead you to freedom and authenticity, allowing you to become the person God created you to be.
In Invitation to Solitude and Silence Barton offers spiritual guidance for your journey, helping you to hear God's call more clearly and showing you concrete ways to say yes. Chapter by chapter she combines teaching and reflection on different aspects of the journey with activities and disciplines that will help you to practice solitude and silence. Barton offers the prophet Elijah as a biblical guide for your journey. And she offers her own perspective to help you understand the ups and downs you might experience along the way.
The beauty of a true invitation is that you really do have a choice. You can say yes or no. God is waiting for you to respond to him from the depths of your desire for relationship, belonging and transformation. Will you say yes?