book review: through painted deserts, donald miller
Title: Through Painted Deserts
Author: Donald Miller
Category: Christian Inspiration
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Starred Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Donald Miller has the uncanny ability to put into words things and ideas and desires that hit me right at the core but that I didn’t even know I should be thinking about. I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately — changes in myself, changes in my life — and I didn’t quite realize that when I picked up Through Painted Deserts, that it would feel like he was talking right to me.
This book of Don’s is a memoir of a time in his life when he needed a change and he took it in the form of a road trip with a friend of his that went from Texas up to Oregon. It was a trip for a change, but the way he tells it, maybe he didn’t know that the change was going to happen on the trip.
I’ve been on two pretty big road trips, both that went cross-country. Neither were the meandering type that Don writes about, but were rather trips with a purpose: to move to CA or to move back to PA. I don’t think that in either case, I had the moments of doubt, longing, faith, and mystery that Miller had on his trip. There were moments, of course … the ride up the tram on the mountain in Albuquerque, standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, driving in t he rain through Southern forests, the endless flatness of Texas … when I felt so small compared to the entire world out there.
But what I liked most about what Don has to say is the way he says it. He writes like how I imagine he talks, how you and I talk. He’s reflecting on life and living, on God, on why we’re here, on the why questions AND the how questions. He reflects on faith and doubt, on plans for your own life, on girls (in my case that would be boys), on marriage and family and purpose and placement. All these things that I think about off and on every day of my life. Don just says it so much better than I can.
I wrote down so many quotes from the book that I loved. I shared one on Sunday, and I have a feeling I’ll be sharing a few more in the coming weeks. Everything just hit me at the right time, you know? I love when books do that.