This Beautiful Truth
How God’s Goodness Breaks into Our Darkness
We live in a broken world. Amid the daily realities of sickness and isolation, disappointment and pain, it can be profoundly difficult to grasp the real goodness of God.
But this is where God breaks into our darkness with beauty . . .
In the wonder of creation, in art or film, story or song, in the kindness of his people and the good they create, God breaks into our pain in a tangible way, teaching us to trust his love and to hope for his healing. Beauty is a voice singing into our suffering, beckoning us toward restoration.
In This Beautiful Truth, Sarah Clarkson shares her own encounters with beauty in the midst of her decades-long struggle with mental illness, depression, and doubt. In a voice both vulnerable and reflective, she paints a compelling picture of the God who reaches out to us in a real and powerful way through the "taste and see" goodness of what he has made and what he continues to create amid our darkness.
"We need more stories like this in the world, more humans willing to carry their readers with them on their own journey through the dark nights we all live and sometimes love and will someday leave."--Lore Ferguson Wilbert, author of Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry
"A portrait of God's grace in the midst of our brokenness. Beautiful in its prose and in the love it reveals, this book is a balm to a world weary of evil."--Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor, New Life Church; author of Blessed Broken Given
"Sarah has a gift for making abstract ideas real and tangible. I didn't read about hope in these pages. Instead, I was offered it."--Christie Purifoy, author of Placemaker and Roots and Sky
"This is a quiet memoir, more friendship than history, more companionship than autobiography. Sarah is vulnerable with her story, showing beauty to be the heroine and truth, the bulwark. We need more stories like this in the world, more humans willing to carry their readers with them on their own journey through the dark nights we all live and sometimes love and will someday leave."
Lore Ferguson Wilbert, author of Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry
"From inside the darkness, Sarah Clarkson writes of a light that shines. She pulls the curtain back on her struggle with a particular kind of mental illness, offering not simply a theology of suffering and hope but a portrait of God's grace in the midst of our brokenness. Beautiful in its prose and in the love it reveals, this book is a balm to a world weary of evil."
Glenn Packiam, associate senior pastor, New Life Church; author of Blessed Broken Given
"I read Sarah Clarkson's book through grateful tears. When we are weighed down by painful questions, it is stories we need most, not answers. Sarah bravely and generously shares her own particular story in a book that is filled to the brim with truth, goodness, and beauty. Sarah has a gift for making abstract ideas real and tangible. I didn't read about hope in these pages. Instead, I was offered it."
Christie Purifoy, author of Placemaker and Roots and Sky
"Sarah Clarkson has risked a great deal in writing this book. She has loved her reader enough to tell the unvarnished, complicated truth about a tormented life. In exploring her dark battles with OCD, she lays down her life so that others might live. The space she creates here is so intimate, so honest, that I found myself barely breathing as I read. The power of pure authenticity sits in these pages, and God met me in that bareness. Clarkson does not offer a shallow, escapist treatise on beauty but a raw glimpse into the cosmic battle between goodness and evil--through the lens of a single trembling mortal soul, learning to hope and believe while living dead center in the war zone."
Rebecca K. Reynolds, author of Courage, Dear Heart
"Few of us can return from the edge of the abyss in our own selves; fewer still are those who are able to recount at all what we have seen there. But rarer still is the one who can retell it truthfully while casting the shadows there into light. Sarah Clarkson has written that tale with courage, grace, and defiant hope. If you have ever needed to hear why beauty heals the brokenhearted, here is the telling. This is the book I have been waiting for my whole life. It may be for you, too."
Lancia E. Smith, founder and executive director of the Cultivating Project
"This Beautiful Truth is not only a beautifully written book; it is also an incredibly brave book--brave in its determination to stare down the darkness and bear witness to the light that tells a truer story, and brave also in its raw vulnerability. By chronicling her harrowing private battle with mental illness and its attendant feelings of guilt, shame, confusion, and doubt, Sarah Clarkson has cracked open her heart on paper so that others with broken hearts might find echoes of their own pain and know they are not alone."
Jennifer Trafton, author of Henry and the Chalk Dragon and The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
"Here is theology grounded in experience. In her beautiful and fluent prose, Sarah weaves a message of hope amidst brokenness that lifts our horizons. This book will open your eyes to beauty in myriad ways that are both breathtaking and mysterious in their power to heal."
Rev. Dr. Liz Hoare, director of welfare, pastoral care, and spirituality at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
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