Survivors of sexual abuse and assault often find themselves feeling like the woman who touched the hem of the Lord's robe to be healed: desperately needing the Savior's help, but feeling too full of shame and pain to approach him. When seeking help, survivors are generally counseled to forgive, but instead of bringing relief, this message often increases their shame and pain. Forgiveness is not the only step towards healing, nor is it the first step. Touching His Robe shares scripture anecdotes and metaphors that will help answer questions such as, "If God is real and he cares about me, why did he allow this to happen?" The author encourages listeners to at first just touch his robe, and guides them on a journey to help them come closer to embracing him.
Would you consider the audio edition of Touching His Robe to be better than the print version?
I definitely would. Lynn Norris shows high intelligence, deep affinity for the text, and an inspired blend of consistent warmth, appropriate moments of emotional intensity, and reassuring, nurturing calm that guides us through everything from difficult revelation of wounds and the long, sometimes jagged healing process they precipitated, to wry moments of light relief, and everything in between. A truly beautiful, perfectly modulated voice, that brings clarity to sometimes challenging verbiage, and creates a place of safety in which we can explore this often raw topic. I wish every therapist could bring the loving presence she so naturally exudes.
I bet the author was simply thrilled to have this woman as her voice. I hope to hear her on many of your audiobooks, and will look for her name on future titles. If they're of any interest on their own, knowing I'll hear this wonderful, authentic, vibrant voice will certainly clinch the deal for me!
What did you like best about this story?
Leslie Nelson's very thoughtful and articulate, and I feel she's done real, serious work not only to excavate her own past and bring it up to the light and air to dissipate its pathology, but to give other abuse survivors significant tools to address their own stories and integrate them, this time exorcised (in an ongoing process) of the anger and shame that linger like the smell of rot if they're not also disinterred. It's so good, so life-affirming to understand that joy and wholeness are possible when repressed memories are cleansed, and when we learn, one thorny challenge at a time, how brave and resilient we can be.
I'm not conventionally religious, but as a spiritual person, I found the book immensely valuable with or without the Christian message, which was not overbearing -- something I felt the author worked consciously to achieve. Her Christian beliefs are clear, direct, and up front, but she never asserts that they're mandatory for anyone else to attain their own measure of freedom from the past. Nor does she give carte blanche to human or institutional representatives of Christ. Highly developed critical thinking, applied universally. I respect that.
Which scene was your favorite?
I don't know that it's a scene, precisely, but I loved Nelson's real-time narrative of the role mindfulness plays in dissipating emotional triggers/flashbacks and returning us to the present, as well as bringing resilience, perspective and joy to everyday moments. Probably confirmation bias; I'm a big practitioner of mindfulness!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Not only did I want to; I am. I'm going to be tired at work tomorrow, but it's totally worth it!
Any additional comments?
Good, valuable book. Great, invaluable narrator.
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