I fell in love with author Hannah Anderson’s work about three years ago when a friend gave me a copy of her first book, Made for More . So when I had the opportunity to join the launch team for her second work, Humble Roots, I of course jumped in with the best of intentions. But in a very (not) humble fashion, I had bitten off more life than I could chew and choked. So the book review was pushed back a few months later than I had committed to.
Normally this negligence would be embarassing. But when I reread the book this month to refresh my memory, I found myself delighted with the coincidence of it all. I’m a chronically busy bee, often saying “yes” to opportunities that I should graciously decline. Until I read Anderson’s Humble Roots, I would have never associated such a behavior with the sin of pride.
I’m currently working my way through the book of Proverbs with a group of friends. Reading Humble Roots alongside that book of the Bible is a serious jab to the heart. When most of us think of personal integrity issues like humility and pride, we conjure up caricatures. To our brains, humility is the mousy individual saying “aw-shucks” in a dark corner, while pride is taking a thousand selfies in the center of the room.
A convoluted and weak understanding of humility is typical for Christians, but Humble Roots gives its readers a strong, simple definition of humility. “You are not God”.
In that definition Anderson contends, there is rest. Rest from anxiety, from “humble-bragging”. Rest from body image insecurities and certainly, rest from saying “yes” to reviews that you know you don’t have time to write. *Cough*
Anderson charmingly weaves stories of gardening and rural existence into the book, a move that accents each chapter with something rich and lovely. Among a host of beautiful agricultural metaphors, Humble Roots repeatedly points back to the perfect display of humility in the example of Jesus.
It would be an easy thing for Anderson to write “just act like the savior”, but she offers a more thoughtful challenge on page 75 instead:
The temptation is to read these verses as a model for our own behavior, and then live them out in our own strength. We believe Jesus to be the perfect humanity and even see His humility as ideal. But then we strive for ideal apart from Him. We insert ourselves into the narrative as if we were Jesus…We ask, “What would Jesus do?” but really mean, “What would Jesus do if He were me?”.
-Hannah Anderson, Humble Roots
With that, Humble Roots became one of my favorite books of the last year. Anderson’s writing is often poetic, but never fussy or frilly. Humble Roots confronts some of our most tender idols and encourages readers to look to the One who cultivates all Godly character and provides a humble place of rest.
If you haven’t read it yet, I greatly encourage you to pick up a copy.
Congrats to Barb Rohde, our giveaway winner! I will contact her on Facebook, and will be shipping her a free copy of Humble Roots! For those who are bummed they didn’t win, you can find a copy of Anderson’s book on Amazon. The physical copy of the book is very affordable, and the Kindle version is currently on sale for .99 cents!
*Disclosure: I was provided two free copies of “Humble Roots”. One was to read & review, the other was to give away. However, my review is my honest and unbiased opinion.
*Contest winner was chosen using a randomization tool known as Good Luck Fairy.