From the Preface:
When something shatters, the broken pieces find their way into hidden cracks and crevices. Then they end up inside of us, causing pain, especially to the most vulnerable. It’s easy to walk past the fragments of brokenness. We’re busy and overwhelmed. And maybe that particular piece of jagged glass hasn’t hurt you. But it is hurting someone.
Last night, I watched a video showing a five-year-old boy in Aleppo, Syria, being pulled from a burning building and placed in an ambulance. His home had just been bombed, and he was covered in dust, stunned. The left side of his face was bloody, but he didn’t say a word. He didn’t cry. He simply touched his face with his hand and then wiped that blood on the orange seat where he sat.
Who is going to pull the jagged glass out of his mouth?
I’m a pastor, and I live in the suburbs, far away from buildings that get bombed. But I see jagged glass everywhere. Last Sunday at church, a dad came up to me with tears in his eyes. “He’s back in treatment,” he choked out, speaking of his youngest son and the addiction that keeps getting the best of him. I hugged this brokenhearted dad, prayed with him, and held him as he cried.
What Others are saying about Whole:
This book is beautifully written, and the honesty in its pages invites the reader’s honesty—which is, in my view, one of the best things a book can do. This is a book that will transform you.
- SHAUNA NIEQUIST, Bestselling author of Present Over Perfect
Steve Wiens is a writer unique in my experience of reading books, and I have read a lot of them. What is unique about Whole is that he inserts you (me!) into the biblical story in a way that makes the story convincingly contemporary with us. His children (he has boys), his wife (one wife), and his friends (he has many) become authentically biblical, and we find ourselves living in our own backyards what we previously had only read about.
- EUGENE H. PETERSON, Professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver
If you are looking for a simplistic solution to the brokenness you see in the world (and in yourself ), this book won’t be helpful. But if you’re willing to leave the known for the unknown and if you dare to ask the soul-enriching questions found in Steve Wiens’s imaginative work, you just might find yourself on the road to wholeness.
- RICHARD ROHR, Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation
I’ve been lucky enough to sit around a fire in Steve’s backyard and talk into the night, and I left that evening feeling as though I’d been breathing fresh air into my lungs. You will feel the same when you read Whole. Steve has a gift for telling stories that connect at the deepest level to your own story. This is inspired and compassionate writing that invites us to step into our own promised land.
- STU GARRARD, Songwriter and author of Words from the Hill
Many authors who brave the subject of brokenness lead us down one of two paths: One glosses over the pain with sugary anecdotes or bulleted prescriptions. The other leaves us wallowing in the pain a bit too long, with perhaps no hope for redemption. Rarely does an author show us another way. Steve Wiens does just that— carving out a new trail where brokenness meets beauty, where humility is a catalyst for becoming whole.
- MATT BAYS, Author of Finding God in the Ruins
Steve Wiens’s book Whole stopped me in my tracks. It is a timely, prophetic message not only for the culture and church at large but also for every individual seeking a life of shalom on a deeply personal level. This book forced me to look at others with compassion and gentleness, grace and potential. But more important, it forced me to look inwardly at myself with that same gentle spirit. I’m so grateful for this book, and I look forward to hand- ing out copies to everyone I know along the path to wholeness.
- NISH WEISETH, Author of Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World
Steve reminds us that it is in the ordinary of everyday life that we are daily invited to experience and participate in the extraordinary. Not extraordinary in the sense of superheroes, but in the simple journey of living into who we were created to be all along. We are the restored ones, and in the sacred mundane of everyday life, we are invited to participate with God in restoring our broken world. This book is not only a reminder of who we are but also an invitation into our collective healing. Let’s get after it together.
- JON HUCKINS, Cofounding director of The Global Immersion Project
I am a huge fan of pastor Steve Wiens and his savory new book, Whole. I tore into it, huge chunks at a time, hoping that his words would heal the hunger in me. Instead, he convinced me that hunger is the lifeblood of being human and that questions are, like bread crumbs, the path to wholeness. If you, too, need fresh perspective on your story, Wiens is a salty sage worth reading.
- ERIN LANE, Author of Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe