Good things come in small packages. Seeing with the Heart and Soul is a short collection of devotional-style essays, poetry, and fictionalized vignettes of selected Bible stories humorously set in present day. The Rev. Rodman—an Episcopal minister of 37 years—brings sound Christian theology, clever turn of phrase, and dead-on life application to these tightly written, compelling, faith-based pieces crafted to enlarge the reader’s view of God’s love and accessibility.
The author combines keen consciousness of the human condition with a strong imagination and an ability to convey his ideas in ways lay people can relate to on a variety of topics: child abuse, social outcasts, forgiveness, postmodern angst and materialism.
For example, on the Ascension of Christ, the author writes: “The Ascension is the means by which we understand that Christ is not in outer space but aches to reside in our inner space.” Based on his childhood conceptions, the author imagines the event in a public baseball field, Christ “dressed in something that looked like a graduation gown but without the mortarboard . . .[who] floated off the pitcher’s mound . . . toward heaven.”
In another Bible re-tell, the rebellious Old Testament prophet Jonah thumbs his nose at God’s directives by “getting toasted on mai tais and eating crab rangoon” on the promenade deck of his escape ship. Yet the inevitable whale engulfs Jonah and, metaphorically, each of us, for “truly it is God who swallows us for good reason.”
In an essay imaginatively comparing Santa Claus to Christ: “ . . .He stands among us, unevaporated, ever present, and apparently unwilling to return to his sleigh without us.”
A minor flaw of the book is a formatting inconsistency: themed Bible verses accompany some but not all of the sections. Nevertheless, enthusiasts of inventive Christian devotionals will turn the last page of this book wanting more.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.