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Cries for a Lost Homeland

Author Guli Francis-Dehqani
Publisher Canterbury Press £10.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781786223838

Out of an extraordinary life story, the Bishop of Chelmsford has provided an extraordinary book. Six reflections on Jesus’s sayings from the cross weave together memories of growing up Christian in a Muslim country, experiences during the Islamic revolution in Iran and as a refugee in Britain, with thoughts on identity, belonging, relationships and diverse theological themes. The links to Jesus’ last words are sometimes what we would expect, sometimes surprising. What is the connection between ‘I thirst!’ and a blunt potato peeler? I leave you to find out. There is a lot of pain in these pages. In the foreword, Sam Wells writes, ‘Here you will find Christ’s story inscribed on her own flesh…’. Yet there is nothing depressing about the narrative, but rather a profound compassion for the human condition. The foreword and afterword, both add to the richness of this short book. This book could give a Lent group ample food for thought simply with the use of a few questions, such as: ‘What has touched you?’ or ‘Having read this, is there anything you see differently now?’

Reviewed by GERTRUD SOLLARS

Biblical reflections