When the Heart Waits

Published by: HarperOne
Pages: 240
ISBN13: 978-0061144899
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•  Originally published by HaperOne in 1990

This newly reissued edition is Sue Monk Kidd’s inspiring autobiographical account of personal pain, spiritual awakening, and divine grace. Blending her own experiences with an intimate grasp of spirituality, the author relates the passionate and moving tale of her spiritual crisis, when life seemed to have lost meaning and her longing for a hasty escape from the pain yielded to a discipline of "active waiting." She compares her experience to the formative processes inside a chrysalis, charting the passages of her descent and ascent while offering wisdom and hope for the upheavals in our lives.


"Grounded in personal experience and bolstered with classic spiritual disciplines and Scripture, this book offers an alternative to fast-fix spirituality."
—Bookstore Journal

"Sue Monk Kidd combines profound wisdom in a most readable and anecdotal style. Like Einstein, she shows us that great truth is also “simple and beautiful!"
—Richard Rohr, OFM, author, Radical Grace

"A well-crafted gem. The reader emerges enriched from joining Kidd in her journey."
—Librarian’s World

"A joy to read. Here we have an honest and healing book which speaks to us out of both direct personal experience and a knowledge and sympathy for a long and deep spiritual tradition. The author moves away from the shallows of ‘self-help’ and cheap religion to the depths of holiness and transformation."
—Alan Jones, dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, and author, Soul Making

"As I read her book, Sue Monk Kidd became a companion to me. I love having her walk with me on my journey."
—Eugene Peterson, author, Living the Message

"Kidd’s writing is vivid... alive. She does all of us a favor by being very aware of the processes within her own life and crystalizing them in words and images which can help us."
—En Christo

"A deeply transforming book in the “Merton” tradition."


Overhead a thickening of clouds wreathed everything in grayness. It was February, when the earth of South Carolina seems mired in the dregs of winter. I had been walking for miles; I don’t know how many. I could feel neither my toes inside my shoes, nor the wind on my face. I could feel nothing at all but an intense aching in my soul. For some months I had been lost in a baffling crisis of spirit. Back in the autumn I had awakened to a growing darkness and cacophony, as if something in my depths were crying out. A whole chorus of voices. Orphaned voices.

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