This is a good and helpful book, marrying together thoughts on life, parenting, and the gospel. But it’s not the book I was expecting.
The title resonated with me. Our first child – our daughter – was born five years ago. My presumption was that this short book would be a window into how parenthood challenges and changes a person (as it did me). I had thought it would reveal the author’s journey to the vulnerable places of the heart, and the upheavals to daily life parenthood exposes so vividly.
Rather, Dai Hankey has linked anecdotes from his and his wife’s in the early years of parenting experience (that do indeed touch on the vulnerabilities mentioned above) to present a framework of the biblical picture of humanity and God’s salvation. The chapter headings give good example of this: ‘we are precious’, ‘we are loved’, ‘we are messed up’ etc. Each chapter contains an anecdote, which links to a stage within the biblical big picture. In this way, Hankey does more than just delve into his own heart as he processes the seismic effect of caring for a new-born. He steers the reader outwards from self and upwards to God. The book becomes, in the process, about God and His gospel.
'Lessons I Learned from My Little Girl' is short, clear, and charming. My only question as I read it was the intended audience. I wasn’t sure who it was really for. I do think it will help new parents tie their experience to the over-arching story of God’s love. More than that, it may also be a stimulating book to give to non-Christian friends who are also dealing with the big questions of life that parenthood throws up. As well as drawing the reader in with the very personal anecdotes, and presenting the gospel, it also establishes the inherent wonder, dignity, and purpose of life.
In a society trying to make up its mind about what it means to be human, Dai Hankey’s book provides welcome illumination.
Tom Muir, Esk Valley Church