We have all become more and more skilled, in recent decades, articulating positions of belief and opinion. And since it is easier than ever to find alliances with those who agree with us, we find frequent opportunities to rehearse our certainties to those who approve.
Left in the wake of all this are relationships. Almost as if they don’t really matter, compared to what we have to say. Mike Donehey, who is famous as a songwriter and recording artist, wants to suggest there is much more to life than this. He is right.
His book title comes from a metaphor. As he explains in the introduction, “maybe God left some gray spaces on purpose. Maybe God wove some mystery into the world because He’s more interested in cultivating great lovers than He is great debaters.
“This book is about learning the artful elegance of loving one another in the gray spaces.”
The best chapter, we thought, was chapter 4: “Live Like I’ve Got No Enemies.” Donehey begins with a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” And then Donehey spends the chapter explaining, in a variety of ways, that people are not your enemies. Ever. He also demonstrates that this is the way of Jesus.
This is a thoroughly Christian book, for people who are either Christian themselves, or who want to learn from the spirituality of Jesus. Donehey writes very well, with verve and power. (See the excerpt accompanying this review for an example of this.)