Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey
This is the most helpful book I have read (and reread) in the last 5 years or so; in fact it has been like a companion on the road I have walked - my copy has pencil marks and folded pages and underlines all through it. I've been involved with a few group/retreats based on the book, as well as reading and listening to it. To introduce and explain really useful and relevant spiritual disciplines (some ancient) in the context of a fictional story is a very clever teaching method - not only to keep a weary reader engaged, but also to help you understand the ideas on a more experiential level. We got to see Sharon Garlough Brown speak in Sydney a few years back and unsurprisingly she is a humble, very normal, down-to-earth but engaging person. She writes from the experience of her own life and the lives of those in her church, so it's all very relevant and connected with genuine human engagement with God and life, in areas including grief, childhood wounds, a controlling/abusive marriage, driven-ness in ministry, loneliness and fearfulness.
The books that follow in the series are equally helpful, and take you on a journey with the women in the story, and then the second series beginning with Shades of Light takes place several years later, and again helps you think through how Christianity connects with the many and varied experiences of life: in that case, the experience of compassion fatigue, anxiety and depression.