Today, my new book The Compassion Quest has been officially published. I’m excited to see the reaction it will get, as I think it’s a book that will challenge many. In fact, it still challenges me now when I re-read it! After all, how many of us can say we truly show compassion to every part of God’s wonderful creation – to our friends, our neighbours, our enemies, to strangers, animals, the environment?
The process of writing the book has itself had its challenges. There were often times when I asked myself whether pouring my deeply-held beliefs and values into another book was making me all too vulnerable – most books, after all, are deeply personal (whether directly or indirectly) and reflect the heart and soul of the writer. But the process of writing also had times of pure joy, which culminated in the day that I was informed that bestselling author and President Clinton’s former spiritual advisor Tony Campolo was endorsing the book. “This is a book that was waiting to be written”, he wrote.
One of the more unusual events that occurred during the writing process, though, was that I noticed that an increasing number of Brazilians were following me on Twitter and Facebook. After a few days scratching my head as to why this was happening, I was told that a quotation from my last book, Finding Hope and Meaning in Suffering, had appeared in Wm Paul Young’s follow-up to his #1 New York Times bestseller The Shack, and it turns out that Wm Paul Young is particularly popular in Brazil! Many of his fans had noticed my name in his book, had appreciated the quotation, and had looked me up on social media sites. Soon, I began to get tweets and messages, all written in Portuguese, from people desperate to find my books in their mother tongue!
Unfortunately, my Portuguese is rather rusty, so The Compassion Quest will not be appearing in Portuguese in the immediate future. But, then again, neither will it be appearing in my own mother tongue (Welsh) or that of my wife (German)! Still, in many ways, the quotation that Wm Paul Young chose to include in his book, Cross Roads, summarises The Compassion Quest and so I will finish with those words: ‘A dor pode nos fazer lembrar que estamos vivos, mas o amor nos faz lembrar por quê’ (Trystan Owain Hughes). [‘Pain may well remind us that we are alive, but love reminds us why we are alive’ (Trystan Owain Hughes)].