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Love Songs and Reproaches: Passionate Conversations with God

Morehouse Publishing, New York 2010
RRP $23.95

Reviewed by Rev Barbara Bailey, a retired minister in Caloundra.

The subtitle of Love Songs and Reproaches describes the contents well.

Author, L. William Countryman, is a biblical scholar, Episcopal Priest and retired Professor known for his writings on spirituality.

In these fifty poems there is interaction between lover and the beloved, a mixture of storytelling, theology, celebration and lament which draws the reader into their own faith journey.

These intense and yet delightful poems need to be digested slowly giving time to appreciate the arresting images, the complexity of our relationship with God, our interaction with nature and the simple fact that God does enter into our times of suffering with us.

Mr Countryman emphasises that it matters that God listens and suggests God understands the conflict people have being human, yet having that spark of divinity within.

The author has interwoven the well loved stories of scripture into this compelling book which tends to draw the reader into discovery of their own unique relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Mr Countryman does not offer a light love approach to God but a deeply passionate, brilliantly phrased encounter which has confrontational power.

Take time to savour this treasure.

Love Songs and Reproaches is highly recommended.