Paul Murray is not only an academic, a preacher and published poet, he is also a superb pastor. During his ministry, he has dealt with some extraordinary people - not least a South African who was wrongly convicted of murder and hanged under Apartheid. Drawing on this remarkable experience, the reader is offered here a sustained meditation on the meaning of affliction and suffering in a way that is ultimately the story of human triumph and the ultimate victory of the Cross. The book concludes with Paul Murray's extraordinary meditations on the Seven Last Words from the Cross in which the wealth of his pastoral experience is fully brought to bear. Scars is the account of men and women of all ages who have survived major crises or tragedies of one kind or another. The scourge of drug addicition, the misery of long-term imprisonment, severe illness, the burden of remembered violence of child abuse. The most striking thing about such people who have against all the odds survived shipwreck, as it were, is whether or not they have been aware of the reality of God in their lives. They are also people of extraordinary compassion.
They seem to have been initiated into a new dimension of themselves and to have discovered a new wealth within. As Murray says in his introduction 'the voices which I have begun to hear are voices to which I myself am still learning to listen'. These are not just accounts of triumphs and of tragedy - they are powerful meditations on something much more profound.
Scars by Paul Murray was published by Continuum in May 2014. The ISBN for Scars is 9781441175632.