Thursday, February 24, 2022

Book Review: Singing in the Dark by Ginny Owens

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Scriptural encouragement for all seasons
Cons: Didn’t hit any sour notes for me
The Bottom Line:
Singing to our God
Through all the seasons of life
Encouraging book

Speaking, and Singing, Hope into the Darkness

In the late 1990’s, I was in love with a record label.  Rocketown Records released music by several artists that quickly became favorites, and Ginny Owens was one of them.  While I didn’t keep up with her career after the label folded (but I’m fixing that), I was very intrigued when I saw she’d written a book.  I had to get Singing in the Dark, and I’m so glad I did.

If you are not familiar with Ginny, she is a singer-songwriter who also happens to be blind.  Her lyrics have always spoken to me, and I expected nothing less from this book.

The sub-title of the book is Finding Hope in the Songs of Scripture, so I was expecting a book focused on the Psalms.  Makes sense, right?  However, Ginny doesn’t do that.  Yes, we do have chapters taken from the Psalms, but she also picks up songs from Moses, Isaiah, Deborah, and so many others.  I will say that some of the passages she picks aren’t really songs (something she acknowledges), but that’s a very minor issue.

There are ten chapters here, and each one focuses on a different passage and a different type of song.  We get songs of praise and victory as well as laments, and a song for the plodding path.  Each chapter amplifies the passage and the story behind it.  Admittedly, there was little here I didn’t already know, but Ginny’s insights and way of telling the story made me look at it in a different way.

Each chapter also contains stories from Ginny’s life that show what she is talking about.  She is honest with us about the struggles she has experiences over her life, but she shares how the truths of these passages have helped her overcome her struggles.  Not that she comes off as proud of where she is.  She is honest that she still struggles with many of these things.

And maybe that is one thing that hit me anew here.  It is a process.  This isn’t just something that can be flipped on and off.  While I know that, I really felt like I was being given an example of it with Ginny’s vulnerability.

The book was released in 2021, so there are some references to the pandemic since Ginny was living in New York City as the events of 2020 unfolded.  It helped make what she was saying here more powerful.

As I said, the book is ten chapters, and each one is roughly 15 to 20 pages.  While I read the book over a couple of days, it is more designed to be used as a devotional with some time to write responses to what Ginny is sharing.  The book touched me, challenged me, and encouraged me just with how I read it.  I’m thinking of spending more time with it in the near future.

Honestly, there is so much here that rereading it in a few months will be beneficial.  I’m sure I missed some things.  And these truths are good to mediate on more than once.

And I can’t tell you how encouraging this book was.  I feel renewed after dwelling on the truths that Ginny presents here.  It’s why I know I need to spend more time with this book.

If you need encouragement and hope in your life, I can’t recommend Singing in the Dark highly enough.

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