Each month, you’ll hear from one of us on what we’re reading and a little bit about the book. Enjoy!
I don’t know if it’s because of Advent or the way the earth spins on its orbit, but during the winter months, I often think of darkness. We read verses on Jesus being the Light of the world, and that He is. We turn on porch lights earlier in the day. We gather around cozy fires, or at least turn on the “cozy fire” channel on TV. In those ways, we “adorn” the dark—we make the scary unseeable bright and beautiful.
Andrew Peterson’s latest book talks about creativity, community, and calling. Aptly titled, Adorning the Dark, the book dives into what it means to be a maker in the midst of our world today. What does it mean, as believers, to imitate our Creator and to bring light to our world?
Adorning the Dark reads beautifully, as one might expect from a novelist/beekeeper/poet/pianist/so many other things. Andrew weaves in stories of his own life journey of creativity with advice for others embarking along the way. He takes care to remind readers that we are all creative—we are called to make “by the law in which we’re made.” So whether we make new worlds from words, make a good cup of coffee, make songs, or make beds, we, as believers, all adorn the dark. As Andrew says, “Since we are made to glorify God, worship happens when someone is doing exactly what he or she was made to do.”
When we bring light into the darkness, we remind others of our Home. This theme pops up several places in the book—what it means to have a home, to be homesick, to find our true Home and lead others there.
Good art leads us Home through the combination of truth and beauty. Andrew talks about both these qualities throughout the book: “Truth without beauty can be a weapon; beauty without truth can be spineless.” Mixed in with the truth and beauty, Andrew writes about “honesty,” or that human quality that draws people in. All of us—makers, songwriters, mothers, businesswomen, writers—live beautiful and flawed lives. We live in the world of already and not yet, one where the Light has come, but the darkness still surrounds us. We live out our callings by showing others the way to the Light, to Home, in part by showing how we were once lost and how we need to be reminded of our former (sometimes current-feeling) lostness every day. We must be honest while we tell truth beautifully.
Adorning the Dark is for creative people, yes. Andrew gives very practical tips for those wanting to write, specifically songwriters. But this book is also about glorifying our God who is with us. It’s about remembering how God has been faithful in the past and knowing He’ll be faithful again. This book is about community and calling and how one is a catalyst and a cheerleader for the other (and vice versa). It is a book about adorning the dark.
“I want you, dear reader, to remember that one holy way of mending the world is to sing, to write, to paint, to weave new worlds.”
Get a copy of Adorning the Dark here.
Elizabeth Hyndman reads, writes, and tweets. Officially, she’s a Content Editor at LifeWay. She managed to find a job where she uses both her English undergraduate and her seminary graduate degrees every day. Elizabeth grew up in Nashville, sips chai lattes every chance she can get, and believes everyone should have a “funny picture” pose at the ready. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.