Down in the Valley – By Frank Hawkins
Speaking from the warmth of a pastor’s hearth combined with deep insights from professional training, Frank Hawkins explores the depths and reality of grief. Weaving stories from the lives of his parishioners and his own life with the teachings of the Bible, he creates a compelling vision of what grief looks like and of what it does to us while ultimately providing pathways toward hope and growth.
The title chosen for this book employs biblical terms to address universal experiences. The term “valley” from Psalm 23 is not the property of a certain religious group; it belongs to humanity and is available to all persons in describing the processes of loss and renewal. The other biblical term in the book’s title, “acquainted" comes Isaiah 53:3 where the suffering servant of God is "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Here, then, is our common ground: our experiences or acquaintance with grief.
For over 50 years, Hawkins has stood with and walked with children, teenagers, and adults through their valleys of sorrow. The chapters of this book reveal some of the lessons and insights he learned and is still learning. They are shared in the hope that they will deepen and enrich readers' relationships as they process their own acquaintance with grief in their valley-crossings.
Hawkins, a pastor for 35 years, also served as a missionary to Brazil and as a minister of pastoral care. A graduate of Furman University and Southeastern and Southern Baptist Theological seminaries, he is the author of three books: The Church at Prayer; War No More, One Man’s Quest for Peace; and Following the Growth Angel.