Listening to God by Joyce Huggett
Huggett's journey about seeking a deeper relationship with God remains an incredibly helpful and honest book
Listening to God
By Joyce Huggett
Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 978 1 47361690 5
Reviewed by: Jeannie Kendall
This book is rightly described as a “contemporary spiritual classic” on its back cover and this is fair, so in many ways it is a difficult book to review. It has been republished, following its initial publication 30 years ago.
The book basically tracks Joyce’s own journey, with refreshing honesty, as she sought a deeper relationship with God. As it does so, she looks at various ways in which we can draw close to, and potentially hear, God: addressing a broad spectrum of areas from contemplative prayer through visions, dreams and angels to the gifts of the Spirit. Everything she writes is firmly biblically based and interwoven with stories.
Two very minor points – at times the stories were a little neat, and whilst I do not doubt their authenticity for those of us who are more acquainted with the grey areas or for whom the spiritual life is a profound struggle, it might be dispiriting. The other is that concerns about acceptance from friends as she explored other forms of spirituality is the only time I thought the book showed its age, since (mercifully) it seems to me that those denominational suspicions are losing their grip amid a more fluid way of looking at church.
As an aside - as I write this I have just returned from a beautiful retreat house which is, tragically, about to close, as have several others. Joyce’s journey has been impacted by such places and it is sad that so many are closing at a time when many are open to exploring God in those contexts.
This remains an incredibly helpful and honest book for anyone wishing to deepen their spiritual journey. If you haven’t read it in the years since its publication, or not for some time, I commend it to you.
Jeannie is co-minister of Carshalton Beeches Baptist church and a member of the Sutton Street Pastors’ Management Board