Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian Life

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For those who are feeling sad about any aspect of life but who also long to experience gratitude. Lynne Baab draws on the Psalms, Jesus' teaching in the Gospels, and the apostle Paul's letters to help us navigate our challenging times by holding grief in one hand and gratitude in the other.


“Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian Life is one of the most important books I have read in the last few months. I have long been an advocate for gratitude as a way of life, but Lynne Baab helped me understand that grief is just as important and often the missing element in our practices. We all need a better understanding of how grief and gratitude intertwine in a healthy life. This is a must read book for everyone as we emerge from the challenges of the COVID pandemic.”
—Christine Sine, curator of the Godspace blog and author of The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting In God

“Grief and gratitude are not a dichotomy. With generous doses of pastoral wisdom and emotional intelligence, Lynne Baab invites us to identify the breadth and intensity of our grief and gratitude. Drawing on Psalms, Paul, Jesus and his disciples, alongside deeply personal examples of grief and opportunities to exude gratitude, Baab navigates a way for the soul to move beyond cynicism, inadequacy, materialism and denial. Two Hands is a delightful book in pandemic times to read prayerfully and contemplatively and in conversation with trusted friends.”
—Rev. Dr. Darren Cronshaw, Professor of Missional Leadership at Sydney College of Divinity and Pastor of Auburn Baptist Church

“Lynne Baab’s biblically rooted reflections on grief and gratitude encourage us toward wholeness. With insight, honesty and compassion for the struggle, she urges us to embrace both the brokenness and ampleness of God’s world.”
—Caroline J. Simon (Ph.D.), author of The Disciplined Heart: Love, Destiny and Imagination 

“Lynne M. Baab’s graceful, grace-filled Bible study, Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian Life, offers heartfelt companionship to those who grieve—perhaps a loss or a failing—and give thanks, whether to a person or to God. Lynne’s vulnerable sharing of her own experience and her gentle, probing reflection questions at the end of each chapter will help readers claim her wise insights for themselves. Two Hands both acknowledges life’s challenges and invites us to live more faithfully, authentically, and joyfully with the God of compassion at our side.”
—Rev. Dr. Beth Ann Gaede, editor of When a Congregation Is Betrayed: Responding to Clergy Misconduct 

“Should you ever have the pleasure of meeting Lynne Baab in person, you will experience that all-too-rare-joy of someone truly listening to you and understanding you. You will experience that joy in this book. Through a beautiful combination of biblical reflection, personal vulnerability, prayerful engagement, and everyday examples, Lynne guides readers in their own reflection of their own life. You will find yourself in safe hands, revealing you are in God's hands. You will find yourself in Christ.”
—Rev. Dr. Geoff New, author of Echoes: the Lord's Prayer in the Preacher's Life.

“‘We grieve because we love,’ writes Dr. Lynne Baab, once again offering welcome wisdom and compassion to followers of Jesus. Drawing on Scripture, the author points us to the One who understands and loves us as we care deeply and are moved by both grief and gratitude. Spend time with this book; it will penetrate your heart with grace.”
—Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.), Executive Director of New College Berkeley (Graduate Theological Union) and author of The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy

“Two Hands affirms our ‘both-and’ lived reality: we experience both grief and gratitude, even simultaneously. Neither need compete with the other: each can be integrated into our whole. Drawing on Scripture and personal experience, and offering devotional thoughts and reflections, Baab invites readers to examine their own lives, attentive to the presence of both grief and gratitude. While it can be read alone, Two Hands is ideally suited to being explored in the company of others.”
—Dr. Lynne Taylor, Somerville Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, University of Otago

“Two Hands paints the beautiful and broken picture of our utter dependence on God. When we embrace God’s unexpected gifts of grief and gratitude, we learn more deeply of his presence and his loving invitation for connection. As always, Lynne writes in a way that blends theology with practicality to better equip us for a thoughtful life of faith.”
—Julie White, Executive Director, The Unfolding Soul

Lynne Baab brings scripture, personal experience, and pastoral wisdom into this excellent short book which holds grief and gratitude together, stretching us larger for life and ministry. Each chapter includes prompts for prayer, discussion, or reflection suited to Lent or Advent or everyday reading. I hope the book will be widely used.
—Rev. Dr. Jill Firth, co-editor of Grounded in the Body, in Time and Place, in Scripture: Papers by Australian Women Scholars in the Evangelical Tradition


Learn how to hold grief and gratitude in two hands as a helpful Christian spiritual practice, grounded in the Bible and stories about everyday life


Lynne Baab
The author of numerous books and Bible study guides. Her best known books are Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest and Fasting: Spiritual Freedom beyond Our Appetites. She maintains a vibrant website where readers can access numerous articles she has written, information about her books, and blog posts about Christian spirituality ( Lynne has a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and served two congregations in Seattle in associate pastor roles. After earning a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Washington, her teaching career included ten years in Dunedin, New Zealand, where she served as senior lecturer in pastoral theology at the University of Otago and adjunct tutor at the Presbyterian seminary. She continues to serve in an adjunct professor role, and she writes devotional material for her church and several publishers, as well as blog posts and articles.


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