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A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss Hardcover – June, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (June 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310202302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310202301
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The experience of loss does not have to be the defining moment of our lives, writes Gerald Sittser. Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss. It is not what happens to us that matters so much as what happens in us. Sittser knows. A tragic accident introduced him to loss of a magnitude few of us encounter. But this is not a book about one man's sorrow. It's about the grace that can transform us in the midst of sorrow. For those experiencing loss, A Grace Disguised offers a compassionate, deeply affirming message of hope, richness in living, and joy not after the darkness, but even in the midst of it. Now in softcover. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Gerald L. Sittser is associate professor of religion at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. He is the author of The Adventure (selected by the Guideposts Book Club) and Loving Across Our Differences --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is well written and enjoyable to read.
Tina North
After my wife's death, I needed help badly in coping with the loss and read several highly recommended books dealing with grief.
D. Antos
I first read it after my mother died and subsequently have read it several times.
Kathleen Zaker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Dubuc on September 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gerald Sittser's book is among the best I have ever read for those who are struggling with a great loss in life. He speaks from terrible experience. He lost his wife, mother and a daughter in a single automobile accident. From his own experience of the pain and suffering that follows he draws out a meaningful perspective applicable to the universal experience of human suffering. Without diminishing the pain and evil that suffering inflicts and represents, Sittser helps us make sense of suffering in the context of the Christian faith. He does so with honesty and clarity. Suffering can provide an opportunity for spiritual growth and strengthening of character. We all have that choice available to us.

Sittser rejects the notion of "recovery" from catastrophic loss. Such a loss can not be recovered from if that means that we will be the same as before. We will never get over it. Instead, following Victor Frankl's example, he insists that we must find some meaning in suffering. Our souls must be enlarged by it to help us transcend the experience and integrate it into our lives if we are not to be crushed by it instead. He is an able guide to the avenue that the Christian faith provides for this.

The book has a good chapter on the futility of comparing one person's loss to another. He shows that there is no point in deciding whose serious, irretrievable loss is worse than another's. Each experience of loss is unique because each person is unique.

Sittser doesn't minimize the problems that Christian faith presents in suffering. He has been through the dark tunnel of wondering why this accident happened to him and what God's interest, or lack thereof, is in his suffering.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By weezy on August 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Our son who was 24 years of age was taken from us by a drunk driver on May 16, 1997. A friend from out of state sent me this book about a year after our tragedy. The pain and loss is so horrific that the only persons who can understand are those who have lost a child. I am on my second time through the book,three years after the crash. The first time I underlined many things I could relate to. Now I see that three years are not enough to grieve a child. The world says differently. We walk a lonely road those of us who loose a loved one to tragedy. As I read the book for a second time I see a growth through loss that could not have come any other way in my life. I welcome the growth. Without my son I would never go back to our normal lives because that would mean I never gave birth to him. I want to thank Mr. Sittser for sharing his thoughts and his familes grief to those of us who came after and needed to be carried through our amputation.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kim Ellrott on July 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gerald Sittser has written one of the best treatments on how to respond to any significant loss that happens in life. He is clear to point out that living brings with it suffering. Life includes both sorrow and joy, pain and pleasure. A person must learn to live with both. How we respond to the our pain is a choice that we must make. He carefully and gracefully reveals how a person can embrace the pain and grow from the experience regardless of how tragic the event. As we embrace the pain and learn to live with whatever has brought the pain by the grace of God, we will become whole people once again.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Since loosing my daughter,husband,mother and unborn grandchild within an 11 month period I have been searching for answers of so many questions. While this author didn't always have the answers, it was a great comfort to me to see that he had most of those same questions, and was trying to work through them from a Christian perpective. At no time did he try to minimise the pain, but yet was able to experience even some joy, and to come to a peace, and strength to carry on and not stay enbittered for the rest of his life.He went through all this before me so this gives me hope to come through it with a stronger reliance on the grace of God, regardless of the terrible events that happened.It helps to know that someone has survived and grown stronger. Thank you for a wonderful book that gives help and hope.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a nurse, I work with many families who suffer tragic loss. Mr. Sittser's book is the best I've ever read. Don't expect to read it in one sitting. It is very deep and wise and thought-provoking. It's the type of book you could read three or four times and still learn something new each time. Thank you Mr. Sittser for sharing your tremendous insight with us.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Our 17 year old daughter was recently killed in a freak auto accident. We have had several books recommended to us, but none captures the essence of feelings, emotions, and sensations of the grieving process like this book. Mr. Sittser has been there, and has captured the essence of the journey in a way that will touch and challenge the reader. His "sailing on the sea of nothingness" analogy is right where we are now. His other descriptions and examples are right on point. Highly recommended reading..
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By GramC on March 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Gerald Sittser's gifted eloquence speaks for my soul. As a mother who had to relinquish a child to God, I have experienced so much that he describes but could have never penned the words. I often described my own grief journey as learning to paint a new normal, a new picture of my life, beginning with a new canvas--and he described his own journey using the exact analogy. This is a must-read for those who are stuck in their grief and do not realize that God is the original "recycler" Who will turn suffering and pain into a masterpiece. The reward is a richer life, even without those you love.
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