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Touched By God
by Anthea Dove
Touched by God is a very simple book, just random reflections by someone who is close to God and sees Him in all kinds of unlikely people and places. Most of the pieces - more than a hundred in all - are short; most tell a story of how God reveals Himself in, for instance, a crying child, two adopted sons with terrible stories of deprivation and fear, a conversation with a hive of bees, the view from Hadrian's wall, a sudden awareness on midsummer eve of the beauty of creation, and a rose at Christmas.
Many of the reflections are about the human spirit touched by God and surviving in spite of terrible suffering. The writer is particularly concerned about the plight of refugees having to make painful adjustments to a new life or facing deportation and possible torture and death. She has a great ability to empathise with people very different from herself but to whom she is connected by their common heavenly Father.
As we read this little book, we begin to know Anthea Dove herself; she has a great capacity for friendship which includes those of us who read her words. We feel that in coming to know her a little, we too are touched by God.
There is no 'right way' to read this book, but I suspect that just picking a piece at random and spending a moment or two sharing the writer's experiences will widen and deepen our awareness that all life is a gift for which we must be endlessly grateful.
Reviewer: Joan van Emden (26/09/12)