Bonnie_GrayYou may know Bonnie Gray as the creator and writer behind FaithBarista.com, an interactive website designed to help women heal by telling their stories. Gray is a graduate of UCLA and is a passionate writer who has also been a missionary and high-tech professional in Silicon Valley. Above all, and relevant to her triumph in writing Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest, is Gray’s unique ability to connect women with their own stories in a powerful and healing way.

Throughout the book, Gray’s own painful story unfolds. She writes unflinchingly about her childhood marred by parental emotional abuse and divorce, and how she recognized the need as an adult to seek help for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. The core of this powerful book is the manner in which she emerged from her PTSD to face her past and live in the present.

The resulting story could stand alone as a parable of forgiveness. But Gray goes much further to give her readers the real and transformative gift of a structured and meditative approach to healing past emotional wounds. The process she has created has the power to help those being healed to emerge as what Henri Nouwen called a “wounded healer” – those who recognize and heal their own wounds so that they are able to help others heal.

The image behind the book is that of “white space,” that area around a work of art that frames it so we can clearly see what the artist intended. White space helps the viewer focus on the art being presented without being distracted by surrounding clutter. By analogy, Gray uses the artistic device of white space to help her readers clear away the clutter of their own past to see the beauty intended by their creator. The point behind all of this is that the reader is herself a work of art, worthy of white space, worthy to be seen clearly in her full beauty. This is powerful stuff in a world where women are often implicitly if not directly told to suffer silently and to project a false and commercial beauty.

One small criticism of the book is that, ironically, it seems at first a bit cluttered. There are several major sections in each chapter, including Gray’s unfolding childhood story, highlights from her therapy to heal her PTSD, and some exercises for the reader to work though her own healing; however, this structure is not at first completely clear. Stick with it, though, and the flow of the book will begin to make sense.  Once it does, you will be rewarded.

If you are willing to devote time and honest energy to your own “white space,” to let your God-given beauty emerge, you will grow from the stories and exercises in this book. Although this book is intended for women, there are many applications for men as well. Anyone with a painful past in search of healing will benefit from Finding Spiritual Whitespace.

 ##

Quick Links for Faith Barista and Bonnie Gray:

 

This review was written by Mark Newton. For more information on Mark, please visit our contributors page.
%d bloggers like this: