In Brief: Holy Adventure: A Spiritual Memoir

By Lynn Johnson. Meetinghouse, 2023. 58 pages. $17/paperback.

This is a lovely little book of some of the author’s life-changing spiritual experiences. It is a daring thing to share such intimate encounters with the Divine with a wide audience. And I appreciate the direct way that each story is told. It assures the reader that the Divine is available to all.

The author bio on the back cover shares that Johnson “believes in the Quaker testimony that there is ‘that of God in everyone’ and in all creation.” She draws from that belief to tell six stories, beginning with one spanning early childhood through young adulthood, when she felt she was lacking because she had not had a dramatic spiritual experience. As is true of many of us, we read about those spiritual experiences and wish for them. It was something as simple as laughter in her bedroom where no one else was present that helped her understand it to be the Divine, comforting her into understanding that everything was okay.

It’s easy to relate to the stories of dreams, travel adventures with friends, and solitude. Johnson shares from a deep place within, and we learn that discernment of the seemingly ordinary can lead to new spiritual understanding.

The story of her and a friend crawling under a gate—even though Johnson was struggling with multiple sclerosis—to get close to an old tower in Rhode Island that was associated with Mary Magdalene is so heartwarming. It reveals Johnson’s deep desire to connect to the Divine. I won’t give away what happened, but this is a teaser to find out.

These stories are honest and revealing, and I’m sure many of the readers will relate to one or another, or will look differently at their own experiences. Sometimes we dismiss an event as not spiritually worthy, when it’s true that Spirit is with us all the time. Johnson helps the reader understand that truth.

Read it with your heart wide-open.

—reviewed by Ruah Swennerfelt, a member of Middlebury (Vt.) Meeting

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