Since 1987, Craig Rennebohm has ministered to people who are homeless and struggling with mental illness. In Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, he tells the evocative stories of those who desperately need psychiatric, psychological, and spiritual support, like Mary, who surrounds herself with bulging trash bags, and Jerry, barred from every shelter and meal program in Seattle. With gentleness and grace, solid knowledge and wisdom, Rennebohm reaches out to each of them, and their stories become parables that explore mental illness and the spiritual heart of care and recovery.
About Souls in the Hands of a Tender God
Since 1987, Craig Rennebohm has ministered to people on the streets of Seattle who are homeless and struggling with mental illness. In Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, he tells the evocative stories of persons who desperately need psychiatric, psychological, and spiritual support-like Mary, who surrounds herself with huge trash bags for protection from a threatening world; Jerry, whose fits of rage get him barred from every shelter and meal program in Seattle; and others, abandoned and marginalized by their community, who need care and treatment to find their way back to a life of stability and meaning. As Rennebohm reaches out to each one, their stories become parables that explore mental illness and the spiritual heart of care and recovery, helping us understand what it means to be human, on a pilgrimage together toward wholeness.
As these stories unfold, we encounter Rennebohm’s powerful experiences with a God of kindness and compassion, drawn from his own life and the lives of those he has aided in their struggles with homelessness and with mental illness. Souls in the Hands of a Tender God offers a clear understanding of Spirit, faith, soul, and religion that will prove invaluable to individual conversations and to dialogue among congregations about how we can best serve “the least among us.”
Souls in the Hands of a Tender God follows the path of healing and the way of companionship to build communities of caring that welcome and include our most fragile and troubled neighbors. With gentleness and grace, solid knowledge and wisdom, Rennebohm lays down the foundations of healing communities in which all may have a home, safely rest, and be well.
From the Hardcover edition.
Paperback | $20.00
Published by Beacon Press Jun 01, 2009| 224 Pages| 6 x 9| ISBN 9780807000434
Ebook | $19.99
Published by Beacon Press May 01, 2008| ISBN 9780807097427
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As well as a guide to how others can help be healing presences to the mentally ill, this hopeful book is a meditation on faith in a broken world.—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A refreshing look at compassion and caring for Seattle’s outcasts . . . touching and not overly preachy.”—Louisa Gaylord, Crosscut
“Recommend[ed] to professionals . . . to those who have struggled with mental/emotional problems, and to those who have mentally disturbed family members or friends.”—Dean Watt, The Center for Progressive Christianity
“For the past 20 years, the Rev. Craig Rennebohm has spent at least three days a week walking the streets of [Seattle]. His mission? Helping the chronically homeless people everyone else bustles past. He shepherds people with mental illnesses to doctor appointments. He warms folks up with coffee at Starbucks. And, always, this United Church of Christ minister tries to get some of the 2,000-plus people ‘sleeping rough’ on any given night into housing. It’s slow going.” —Laura Vanderkam, USA Today
“Souls delivers a multilayered and nuanced discussion of homelessness and mental illness. And, when combined with a theological perspective that emphasizes God’s love, Rennebohm’s hard-fought-and-won insights into engaging the homeless and creating better systems of care offer refreshing contact points for psychology and religion.”—James H. Zahniser, Contemporary Psychology