Skip to main content

In this first book published by the recently launched Reformed Journal Books, author Jeffrey Munroe explores a concept he learned from the late Frederick Buechner, an author and pastor who coined the phrase “the stewardship of pain.” Munroe does so by sharing the stories of people who have experienced trauma, grief, illness, and more, and who have “summoned resilience and hope in the midst of great suffering by choosing to do something redemptive with their pain. These are stories of people who do not simply transmit their pain—they transform their pain.”

Munroe has formatted his book in a particularly enlightening manner by processing each story with the assistance of experts in the story’s subject matter. As readers reflect on the stories with Munroe and the guides he has chosen, deeper understanding, compassion, and biblical insight are forged.

As Munroe worked on compiling the stories and commentaries for his book, it became clear to him that, even though he had spent his career upholding theology as vital and necessary, “there is so much bad theology out there about why traumatic events happen and what God is supposedly accomplishing through these events that I believe we’ve reached a tipping point where we just need to keep our mouths shut and simply love people instead of offering explanations for the unexplainable.”

Munroe’s book is a call for the church to be the community of Christ that gives space for lament and grief in a culture that encourages people to deny or bury their grief and get on with life. He explains, “Even if a feeling seems ‘negative,’ we’re better off recognizing and accepting the full range of human emotion and experience—including grief—than trying to banish our feelings.”

Telling Stories in the Dark offers Christian readers much wisdom to ponder no matter what they or loved ones are experiencing. The book might comfort and encourage a suffering person who has not yet met Jesus because Christ’s compassion and love are evident throughout the book. Though discussion questions aren’t included, readers can download a free PDF discussion guide from (Reformed Journal Books)

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now