Like a Child
Tony and Francis Miles: Rooftops Publishing, 2003.
Getting up, for a parent, can involve seeing to the immediate needs of small children and bedtime often seems to consist of exhaustion. So, although prayer can be reformed as arrows of communication and pleas for help, study can be a distant memory. Rare time alone is used for cleaning, ironing or even having the chance to clean your teeth! To change those priorities needs a study book that is apt, accessible and treats us with the intelligence we used to feel we had.
Like a Child scores highly on the first two criteria and is spiritually provoking enough to outweigh any lack of depth. And isn’t that the whole point about learning from children? ‘Receive the Kingdom of God like a little child’ (Mark 10:15). Children have the knack of cutting through the jargon and finding the whole point. If you have children yourself, then you will find this book helps you to catch the spiritual in your own kids and learn to relish what they have to teach us. If you have little contact with small children then this is a book to enjoy; after all how will any of us be able to obey Jesus’ command if we are not aware of what ‘a child’ is like?
My seven year old picked up the book and was astonished to see that what children had to say was being listened to, no doubt a sobering reflection on our household. But she was encouraged, and this must be one of the aims of Like a Child - to encourage us all in the situations in which we find ourselves. The daily readings can do this because they reflect real life. As Diane Louise Jordan says in the Foreword, 'Warmly written, this is a quietly challenging book. I was repeatedly encouraged to look at myself, my family life, and my walk with God - yet never once did I feel condemned'. It takes great humanity to get that combination right, and Tony and Frances Miles (both, as it happens, members of Headway) have done so.
It is entirely appropriate that a percentage of the profits from this publication will be given to NCH. The price of £7.99 includes postage and packing and the book is available direct from Rooftops Publishing, 260 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1RB (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Buy it, have a good read and support a good cause.
Reviewed by Hazel Harwood, Headway's Administrative Officer and Membership Secretary.
Headline Summer 2003 p22.