It has been a season. In 2020, I went to work on my first book. Its rough draft was mapped out before the pandemic.
Then, it happened, of course. In a year in which many of us need hope, courage, and joy, I held those positive things in tension with the pain so many of us know all too well: with or without 2020.
So, for those who may not have seen on social media, my book is called, Echoing Hope: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems our Pain. Yes. 2020. Pain. A book.
We’ve all had a hard year. Truth be told, every year has its own challenges. Pain and trauma do not relent in a world like ours. Pandemics, injustice, exhaustion, financial instability, disease, relational conflict, self-doubt, and the list goes on…. We all experience suffering. But, the beautiful thing about Jesus is that he shows us how to step into our hurting world in a whole new way.
When I started this, I didn’t intend to let strangers (or friends, for that matter) in on the raw parts of my story. But, I sensed God’s invitation to be vulnerable about my own pain. Ultimately, these stories are designed to point to the Jesus who held nothing back. In everything he says, does, and teaches, Jesus puts on display the pattern for the type of humans we are all invited to become. Even in pain, we can become human like Jesus.
Two of my biggest influences, as I’ve sorted out the issues I wrestle with in the book, are Shane Claiborne and N.T. Wright.
Author: Kurt Willems
Kurt Willems is a pastor, author, and spiritual director. His first book, Echoing Hope: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems our Pain, releases in March 2021. Kurt is also the host of the Theology Curator podcast. He has a master of divinity degree from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and a master of arts in comparative religion from the University of Washington.
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