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A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss Hardcover – December 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An expanded edition of this classic book on grief and loss—with a new preface and epilogue Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life—one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.

About the Author

Jerry Sittser is Professor and Chair of Theology at Whitworth University. He holds a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate in the history of Christianity from the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including A Grace Disguised and The Will of God as a Way of Life. Married to Patricia, he is the father of three children and two step-children, all grown.

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Expanded edition (December 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310258952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310258957
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Kim on April 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Personal Impact

A Grace Disguised by Gerald Sittser has impacted me in a rare and profound way. Never have I read a book that tackles the heart of the issue of suffering and the heart of humanity harmoniously and with such eloquence as Sitter's. Sittser engages his audience by peeling away the layers of his thought and into the depths of the pain that he suffered when his mother, wife, and youngest daughter were killed instantly after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. It is plain to see that he has spent countless hours in agony, reasoning out his thoughts, struggling with his faith, and just in living an ordinary life after the accident. The reader is a helpless and captive audience as he describes how he dealt with spiritual issues such as faith in God's sovereignty and emotional issues such as the inability to forgive. Through it all, Sittser recognized that he can never get over the tragedy, but he can allow it to grow him through the choices he makes in response to it.

Personally, by the grace of God, I have never had to experience the mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish of such a tragedy. But after reading this book, I know that I am better prepared to deal with any such occurrence in my life for the future. Sittser's writing made me admire the resiliency of the human spirit, and also appreciate the role of faith in overcoming devastating loss. Sittser was able to overcome his anguish largely because of his well-grounded faith in the promises of God, and his faith in the absolute standards of morality and justice of which God is the source. I can only hope to be able to handle catastrophic losses (which he points out are inevitable) with such grace and sound mind.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By L. Koch on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book was both disturbing and encouraging at the same time. It was disturbing because I realized how short my own response to tragedy fell as I read Dr. Sittser's account. He stuggled mightily to understand whether his relationship with God could survive his personal tragedy. As he confronted the tough questions he did so honestly and not withholding his true questions and feelings. It was encouraging to see how the honesty of this theologian was used by God to bring healing and hope.

I am just now working through some of those questions 26 years after my wife died in an accident in which I was the driver. I only wish I could have dealt with those same questions in the years immediately following my loss and not so many years later. This book would have made such a difference in my life.

I highly recommend Dr. Sittser's book to anyone dealing with loss, whether recent or delayed such as mine. The chapter on the Sovereignty of God is perhaps the best treatment of that subject I have ever read.

Dr. Sittser's book on "The Will of God as a Way of Life" is a great followup to this book, as it gives practical ways to move on and discover what God would have you do with the experience of loss.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By greenbeagle on January 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered this book 10 years ago after the death of my older sister. I thought I stumbled across this book by accident at a bookstore, but I know now that it was no accident. I am reading this book for the third time and it will never be put away on a shelf. It has new meaning and insight each time I read it over again. This little book is a gift from God.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Susanne Carlisle on January 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
...when I received the phone call. I had stayed home from church with a sore heel when I picked up my phone to see my best friend was calling. It wasn't her though, it was someone else--her mother, calling to tell me that their dear girl was taken from us in a horrible accident. I had to break the news to one of her best friends, my daughter. The grief had our whole county reeling.

After the dust settled, the funeral and memorials done, the semester over, I had time at the bookstore to comb through all the books on grief. Of course I looked over Lewis and the other major Christian writers, but they weren't of much use to myself and my pain. Lewis--God bless him--lost a wife to cancer after she had a full life. Our girl was 11.

Sittser knows grief. He knows sudden, horrible, irrevocable death; trauma, tragedy and loss. Loss with a capital L. He lost his wife, his four-year-old daughter and his mother before his eyes during a drunk driving accident. As a well-respected Fuller seminarian, he was encouraged by his friends to write down his observation and addressed the concept and effects of catastrophic loss a full three years after the accident.

Now that I have said why this book was relative to me, let me tell you why it's relative to you and everyone you know: he makes one thing firm--loss is loss, and cannot be qualified as more or less. He does not feel that his loss was greater than anyone else's, for all loss is relative to the person who is doing the losing, whether that someone's a parent, a unemployed mom, or a father trying to cope with his children after divorce. He clearly states that losing a job, for instance, is a loss. Rape is a loss. Divorce is a loss. Death constitutes a loss. Loss is loss is loss.
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