Thursday, 28 September 2017

Book Review: "Unseen" by Sara Hagerty

By Ian Acheson
Every heart longs to be seen and understood. Yet most of our lives is unwitnessed. We spend our days working, driving, parenting. We sometimes spend whole seasons feeling unnoticed and unappreciated. So how do we find contentment when we feel so hidden?

In Unseen, Sara Hagerty suggests that this is exactly what God intended. He is the only One who truly knows us. He is the only One who understands the value of the unseen in our lives. When this truth seeps into our souls, we realize that only when we hide ourselves in God can we give ourselves to others in true freedom—and know the joy of a deeper relationship with the God who sees us.

Our culture applauds what we can produce, what we can show, what we can upload to social media. Only when we give all of ourselves to God—unedited, abandoned, apparently wasteful in its lack of productivity—can we live out who God created us to be. As Hagerty writes, “Maybe my seemingly unproductive, looking-up-at-Him life produces awe among the angels.”

Through an eloquent exploration of both personal and biblical story, Hagerty calls us to offer every unseen minute of our lives to God. God is in the secret places of our lives that no one else witnesses. But we’ve not been relegated to these places. We’ve been invited.

We may be “wasting” ourselves in a hidden corner today: The cubicle on the fourth floor. The hospital bedside of an elderly parent. The laundry room. But these are the places God uses to meet us with a radical love. These are the places that produce the kind of unhinged love in us that gives everything at His feet, whether or not anyone else ever proclaims our name, whether or not anyone else ever sees.

God’s invitation is not just for a season or a day. It is the question of our lives: “When no one else applauds you, when it makes no sense, when you see no results—will you waste your love on Me?

This is one of those very special books that draw you closer to the Lord. As a result, you simply soak in every word as you read it slowly, pausing often to wonder and contemplate the glory of our King.

I've been reading Sara's words for a few years now and start each day with the adoration scriptures she curates for her peeps. Sara has this wonderful writing style that combines the everyday happenings of her world with the grace and love of Jesus that make this book captivating. Her words lead you to Jesus, to His wonder, love and glory. Sara invites us into her journey into the hiddenness of parenting 6 young kiddies, most of whom are adopted, where she finds Jesus in all she does and thinks. Sara's discovered how to "listen for His heart and His soft whisper in His Word" in the everyday unseen moments. She's found a friend. Who happens to be her Lord and Creator.

Sara weaves Mary of Bethany's testimony of a wasted life throughout her own journey. It's brilliantly done. Jesus told us Mary's story would be forever re-told and here we see it again used so powerfully to display what being a friend of Jesus looks like.

I found I had to read this slowly, a chapter at a time to savour the thoughts and reflect on my own relationship with Jesus. There were 2 particularly excellent chapters that I enjoyed immensely. Chapter 8 where Sara provides insights into the daily habits that have helped her friendship with Jesus and then the final chapter where she encourages us to experience such a friendship.

I received a PDF copy of the book from the author, well her husband in fact, with no expectation of a favourable review. However, I noticed my pre-ordered copy has now shipped and I'm expectantly waiting it so I can mark it up as I read through it for a second time.

This is one of those books that will be passed on and recommended and not just for the girls but also for the blokes who will benefit from reading it.


  1. Thanks for such an in-depth review, Ian. Sounds like a really inspirational and encouraging read.

  2. Sounds both intriguing and inspriational! Thanks for sharing, Ian.


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