Joan Brown Campbell, former executive director of the U.S. office of the World Council of Churches and former general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, is director of religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution. She currently serves as chair of the Global Initiative of Women and is one of the founding members of the Council of Sages for Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion Initiative. In this book, Campbell tells the story of her life and ponders the challenges that face Christian communities and the world's religions. Her life and ministry have been a vivid testimony to the importance of faith in action. Another mainstay of her life is hope:
"Life has taught me that hope is born in the eye of the storm. Hope is not happiness. Rather it is the fulfillment that comes from a life that takes risks and loves deeply and falls and soars and falls and rises again."
In a series of vignettes and stories, some from her own life and others from brothers and sisters in the human family, Campbell pays tribute to love "which shows us what matters" the noble dream of unity and the long way we still have to go to achieve it, and the trust that emanates from true religion. Noting the continuing divisiveness of racism and the need for truth and reconciliation, she emphasizes the importance of being able to empathize with all those whose countries are torn by war and who yearn for freedom.
Over the years, the author has thought about what the journey of faith entails. She shares a seven point summary of it:
1. Do not underrate the cost of the journey.
2. Begin at the beginning.
3. Claim the healing touch.
4. Break down the barriers that divide.
5. Forgive abundantly.
6. Take up your cross.
7. Be open to God's surprises.
Campbell also writes about Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion and the valid uses of both science and religion. There is a section of prayers as well as an extensive study guide with scripture references, discussion guides, and prayer prompts for each chapter of the book.