Book Review: The Wounded Spirit

The Wounded Spirit
by Frank Peretti

My rating: 5 / 5
Genre: Christian non-fiction

I bought the book used without a dust jacket, so this was the best I could do for a picture.

Peretti shares with us the difficulty he went through growing up with a medical condition that caused a deformity requiring many surgeries over his first handful of years. Fighting against infections and dealing with the condition left his body unable to develop as it should, and he went through school years smaller than the rest of his classmates. This led to years of persecution by his peers, and Peretti who was left feeling like those in authority had failed him, forcing him into the situation where he was bullied regularly, unable to do much of anything about it.

I read this entire book in one afternoon, and I won’t pretend that it left me feeling happy. I went through a range of emotions while reading, which was mostly pity and sadness, but included elation when Peretti described a turning point for him, which simply took a teacher caring enough to ask if things were okay.

More than just an autobiography about this part of Peretti’s life, he discusses the failure of teachers and other authority figures to keep kids from going through the same type of thing. The mindset that “we all went through it, you can too” or “it’s just part of life” is a big part of what he addresses, saying that it’s not nearly enough reason to turn a blind eye. That kids (and even adults) who are bullied suffer long-term effects that can cause problems in future relationships, and can lead to the bullied later becoming the bully. There have been a lot more anti-bullying programs started in the 20 years since this was written, but it does still happen.

He even puts out a challenge for those who see themselves as the victims to examine their lives for times when they might have been the bully. Even just laughing along when friends or peers are making fun of someone makes us guilty. It’s a hard thing to think about, but it really made a difference for me.

This book gave me a whole new insight into and appreciation for my favorite author and his lovable nature, joviality, brilliance, insight, and heart for God. It also puts my own life into perspective. I recommend this book for…everyone, really.

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If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!