Adorning the Dark – A Review

Adorning the Dark – Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making
By Andrew Peterson

“If you wait until the conditions are perfect, you’ll never write a thing.” (p.40)

I’ll admit, I have had this book, Adoring the Dark, sitting on my desk awaiting my review for a few months now. I’ve read it almost twice now, and it’s an amazing book. An incredible book. Already these words from Andrew Peterson have positively affected my ministry as pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church. However, when it comes specifically to my writing, I fall prey to the hubris of waiting for perfect conditions to write. That I have the opportunity to have the stars and planets align and then the perfect manuscript of a book review will magically flow as my fingers peck at the keys. Nope. A whole bunch of nope is in that statement. It won’t happen. Peterson goes on to write, “It’s always a matter of the will. The songs won’t create themselves, and neither will the books, the recipes, the blueprints, or the gardens.” (p.40). We have to really force ourselves to write, to draw, to pain, to be creative, from time to time. And as I sit here, it is a battle of the will to finally get these words onto the page. 

From the beginning, Andrew Peterson draws to the recesses of his experience, from his childhood and his adulthood, including everything in-between. There is one story where he recounts taking a notebook out to a field on his moped as sunset approached. And as the son crept closer and closer to the horizon, he would look up, then down and draw, with words, God’s beautiful creation of the sun setting, with descriptions changing every time he looked as the sun would move. Anecdotes such as those are littered throughout this masterful work, allowing the reader not only to see and hear about the creative process that works in Peterson’s mind, but also, in a sense, come to understand it in such a way that one may be able to create one’s own process. 

I have had this blog for several years, however, in the past year, I have been stifled in my writing. Partly by time, but greatly by my letting my “creativity” decline and my desire to have the perfect topic or perfect condition run my writing. Instead of running my writing, it has ruined it. Ruined my writing into a pile of nothing. As I have read through Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson has inspired me to write more. While this review is the first of my writing in a while, it will not be the last. I already have several writing projects going on in my head, and, Lord willing, they will reach my blog sooner than later. 

Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson truly is an excellent work to help one understand and begin their own creative processes. I believe that, from lay persons to experienced preachers and teachers, Adorning the Dark will be a great boon to not only how they worship and learn, but how they see and feel what goes on behind the scenes of everything that goes on. 

Click HERE and buy this book. (Notice, I didn’t say “to buy”, I just said buy it. Just do it. You will not regret it.)

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