Tracks of a Fellow Struggler

Living and Growing through Grief

John R. Claypool, Foreword by Russell J. Levenson Jr.

Nov/2019, 120 Pages, PAPER, 5 x 7

ISBN-13: 9781640653115

A journey through grief that has brought comfort to others for almost half a century.

John R. Claypool had been a pastor for almost two decades, ministering to others who suffered through the loss of loved ones, when the loss came home in the death of his eight-year-old daughter, Laura Lue.

This is the story of Claypool's own journey through the darkness, written through four sermons. The first was delivered just eleven days after his daughter's diagnosis of leukemia, the second after her first major relapse nine months later, and the third weeks after her death. The final sermon—a reflection on the process of grieving—was preached three years later.

Read an excerpt.

John R. Claypool was a pastor, preacher, author, and theologian. He was initially ordained as a Southern Baptist and pastored for thirty yers in that denomination. He became an Episcopal priest in 1986 and served as rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, until he retired from full-time parish ministry in 2000. He then taught preaching at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta.

Known for his catchphrases—"Life is a gift"; "Despair is presumptuous"—Claypool was even more regarded for his ability to live with others in their shared sorrow and pain. "If we are willing," he wrote, "the experience of grief can deepen and widen our ability to participate in life." Though he died in 2005, his words continue to provide hope and comfort.

"Job, who also struggled with God and found him, emerged twice the person he had been. And so can we. Though our journey will be uniquely our own when the time comes, and come it will if we love at all, Claypool has left tracks. Furthermore he has not erased those places where he faltered. They are honest tracks."

—The Texas Churchman

Foreword to the 2019 Edition by Russell J. Levenson Jr.
Foreword By Wayne E. Oates


Chapter One The Basis Of Hope
Chapter Two Strength Not To Faint
Chapter Three Life Is Gift

Chapter Four Learning To Handle Grief


Click For a Book Preview


  • Grief
  • Bereavement
  • Death
  • Self Help
  • Sermons

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