Book Review: This Beautiful Truth, a Message of Hope

About a month ago I sat in a busy airport, weary. The last season of my life has been anything but easy. As I waited to board the plane heading to my next destination, I opened a new book, This Beautiful Truth by Sarah Clarkson. I picked up Sarah’s book in preparation for Faith’s sermon series on hope. I typically read a few books that pertain to upcoming series to ready my own soul and mind.

Sometimes the books are helpful. Sometimes not. Then there are those special books that resonate deeply and become favorites. 

This Beautiful Truth quickly fell into the favorites category.

In this book, Sarah shares her decades-long struggle with mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, despair, and doubt. Sarah’s book is both honest about her brokenness and hopeful because it tells the story about the beauty, goodness and grace that God has brought into her brokenness.

Sarah’s book never dismisses the truly horrifying nature of her darkness and depression. There is no pivot to a silver lining or a denial of the agonizing and ongoing nature of mental illness. There is no list of steps to take. No quick fix. No magic pill. This Beautiful Truth is not a story about the end of suffering. It is a book about the beauty that God brings to the broken.

Sarah helps us to see this beauty with a prose that is enchanting, poetic and artful. She also helps us to see this beauty by exploring God’s loving pursuit of her through people, art, Scriptures, her church, and theology.

One of my favorite passages from Sarah’s book is this: “Beauty came, and Beauty saved me – from darkness, from unbelief, from destructive despair, from the bad answers that obscured his goodness, from the closed horizons of grief – and this is the story I have to tell.”

Sarah’s story is well worth reading, not only because it is beautiful but because it is a true story of Jesus meeting the broken to bring hope.

So if your faith is overwhelmed by darkness, if you wrestle with hopelessness, if you have known grief, depression and doubt, Sarah’s honest reflections will bolster your weary soul. Personally, I found my soul lifted, my strength renewed, and I almost missed my flight. It was seriously a spiritual retreat in a busy airport.

Link to book:  This Beautiful Truth

Charlie Sandberg is a Colorado transplant from Minnesota who enjoys writing, reading, running and spending time with his family. He is the teaching pastor at Faith and has been a member for 15 years. He loves helping people know and love Jesus by teaching the Bible.