Review of Comfort in uncertain times
Title: Comfort in uncertain times
Author: Rachel Turner
Cover illustrator: Rebecca J Hall
Published by: BRF
Price: RRP £8.99
Good for: parents of children age 3-12 years
Best bit: I love Rachel’s re-tellings of these 15 Bible stories – you can hear her voice as you read them
Worst bit: Because of the age these stories are for, it would be wonderful to have pictures to go with the stories
This book is a gem. If you’ve read any of Rachel Turner’s books, you won’t be disappointed. It’s similar to Comfort in the darkness, although, IMHO even better (and I really like that book!).
Each story includes notes from Rachel, giving
- a ‘key truth’ which this story shows us (e.g. God created a changing world)
- a short intro to the story and how it relates to change and uncertainty
- a brilliant re-telling of the Bible story – perfect for reading aloud
- conversation starters – a series of open-ended questions for you to pick from to have a chat together
- ideas for connecting with God about this topic – these are ideas which lean in the ‘chat and catch‘ tool which is part of the Parenting for Faith materials. If you’ve not come across these, they are well worth a look – probably the best parenting course out there for Christian parents to help their children connect with God.
In the intro – which you should definitely read – Rachel makes it clear that you are to make this work for your family. She wants us to use the book to help us have conversations with our children and with God, as this is where the real change comes. She also has a series of notes for us, the parents, which are SO useful. The book is worth getting just for these pages (p12-14). She talks of how we don’t need to be ‘sorted’ as parents to help our children, that we are to free ourselves to explore these stories authentically, rather than feeling we need to know the answers. In the questions section she has written: Here are some questions. I’ll answer them too” to help us as parents join in the wondering and answering. It’s a great resource to help us journey along with with our children – I suspect this book will help many parents in uncertain times, including myself!
In the notes Rachel also invites us to name the situation we’re facing which is uncertain, rather than say ‘the situation’ as she’s written in the book. This is the beauty of doing this in a family – we know and can speak straight into the situation of change or crisis, be it bullying, divorce, moving house or whatever! It might feel hard for parents to do this, but I think it will be really powerful if we’re able to name the situation and speak right into it with our children.
The stories Rachel has chosen to use include a lovely variety of well-known stories such as the creation in Genesis 1 and Daniel in the lions’ den, as well as less well-known stories like Priscilla and Aquilla and Ishamel.
I would definitely recommend getting this book, and also getting copies for friends, god-children,
It is aimed at Christian parents wanting to share the Bible to help their children in uncertain times, but could also be used by people who are not Christians – you could use the questions to explore the stories and discover meaning for yourself.