Okay, so I am not objective... but here is a true story.
With two toddlers I don't have a lot of time for meditation, but on occasion I am forced into introspection usually due to my bossy/crappy/angry parenting style that creeps in when I feel too busy or too tired. A few days ago I felt at the end of my rope, and really heart sick with all the meanness that seems to crowd my life.
I was feeling interior. Isolated. I wanted something to speak to my life right then. And it occurred to me--- the chapter on Wrath & Peace makers.
I have read Seven (through a year of various re-drafts) probably 30 times. I have never really felt the need to read it again. I have seen this work for so long as a project, one that I could barely step outside of... and yet it was the one source that I thought of that could actually speak some sense into that place right away. It wasn't Jeff's job, it wasn't a clever way for the Cook family to pay our bills. It wasn't a book written by my husband any longer, it was a salve that I knew offered something to me, personally and immediately.
There was something real in Seven that was talking to me in a way I hadn't heard like this anywhere before.
I understood, maybe for the first time, the soul eating, life crushing, relationship killing void left by my anger... and that the peacefulness that I longed for was "not pacifist pomp. This is not wishful thinking or an impossible course. Any watering down of these prescriptions is a rejections of Jesus' own death. It was Jesus who when struck turned his other cheek, who when asked for his shirt gave his coat as well... in his revolutionary meekness, Jesus inherited everything (144-5)."
And what was I inheriting with wrath
---or leaving for my sons--- with my anger?
I think I will never be over getting mad, or hurting because of it, but that day I felt normal, loved, understood. I felt like there was a way out. I didn't mean to find that in Seven but I did.
Friends and family that buy Seven because, well frankly, we make them end up commenting to me how this book spoke to them in their marriage, in their debt, in their envy, in their self loathing and in their desire to belong to a community that won't let them down. Seven opens a better door for many of us.
I am proud of you Jeff, not just for writing a book, but for writing THIS book, and for quietly teaching the most stubborn person you know.