Drops like Stars (by Rob Bell)

I’ve mostly enjoyed the books by Rob Bell; often controversial, he tends to paint the Christian life in different ways, and I find his writing often quite thought-provoking, masked in his unusual writing style with short sentences that seem almost too simple at first. So when I saw this book available inexpensively at the AwesomeBooks site, I hoped it would be worth reading.

In ‘Drops like stars’, the topic is how suffering can enhance creativity. Not that he puts it so directly. Instead he looks at scenarios of joy and grief, of life and death. He uses examples from the 20th century and examples from Scripture to demonstrate how God is with us in our suffering; not that he causes it, but that he cares, and loves us, and - if we allow him - can use our suffering to create something of beauty.

While this is true of our lives as a whole, Bell also talks about art in its many forms - music, sculpture, painting and so on - and shows how art is often refined, improved, able to speak more clearly to its audience when the composer has suffered and struggled, both in the production of the work concerned and perhaps in his or her personal life too.

It could be trite or formulaic, but somehow this book manages to be inspiring and encouraging. There are drawings and photos, including an amazing one of soap sculptures, and a lovely word picture at the end which explain where the title of the book originated.

It’s a very quick read; only about 130 pages, and with the author’s usual style of spaced out paragraphs and large margins, it could probably have been contained in half that number of pages. I might have been a bit peeved if I’d paid full price for it. Nonetheless, I liked it, and would recommend it if you can find it inexpensively. If you feel that you'd like it in new condition, it's available for the Kindle as well as in paperback.

Review copyright 2015 Sue's Book Reviews

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