In this personal story, Dee Dee Risher weaves experiences from her life with the biblical story of the prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman. Risher is captivated by this spiritually attuned, generous, hospitable, honest, and bold woman. The woman from Shunem extends radical hospitality to the prophet, expecting no reward. But when disaster strikes, she does not hesitate to hold Elisha accountable or talk back.
Hidden in the story, Risher believes, are the questions that lead to a more authentic life:
- What does it mean to build a holy room in our lives?
- How honestly do we confront our inevitable losses and griefs? As we work to transform our world, how do we grapple with failure?
- Do we have the kind of faith that can ask bold questions in the face of death?
- What openings does radical hospitality create in our lives?
"Every human being goes through so much," Risher reflects, "and there is some heartbreakingly beautiful fruit we are to shape from that. That is our own unique, authentic gift to the world." Her book encourages each of us to find a holy room in which we are in community with others and where we can shape our souls into their unique dimensions. We each need a space for this work-a soulmaking room.
"If we cannot deal with failure, if we do not know how to put our deepest losses in our holy room, and if we do not know who our people are, we can never fully join the joy and power of God's story," Dee Dee Risher asserts. Embark with her on the adventure of creating and discovering the joys of The Soulmaking Room.
Dee Dee Risher is associate communications director for Project HOME, a nonprofit working to end homelessness in Philadelphia. Risher has published over 200 articles in such magazines as Sojourners, Progressive Christian, The Utne Reader, and Grid magazine and blogs for The Huffington Post, Theological Curves, and other venues. Risher is a longtime resident of Philadelphia's southwest Germantown neighborhood, a poor and working-class community, where she helped launch a faith-based, intentional cooperative housing community.