*** DEBUG END ***

Divine Sparks by Donna Lazenby

06 October 2017

Martine Oborne is alerted to the divine

DO YOU think that we live today in a godless, godforsaken culture? If you do, then think again.

Reading this book will help you to see, as Donna Lazenby does, God at work in countless everyday situations, and how we connect with him without even realising what we are doing.

From the films that we love to the images we tattoo into our skin, to dating apps, billboards, graffiti, pounding a treadmill at the gym: God speaks to us through all these things — if our hearts are open to hear him.

Lazenby reflects on 34 exper­iences when God has spoken to her — not through the Bible or a ser­mon or in prayer — but through the culture around us. It is a culture that most of us would describe as secu­lar. But, when we start to unpack it — as Lazenby does — we begin to see how intertwined it is with the divine.

The book merits reading slowly — over a period of months — perhaps one of the short chapters every other day. Give yourself time to mull over what Lazenby is sharing, and to allow the poetry of her writing to soak into you.

I have to admit that it did take me a while to adjust to Lazenby’s style. I found myself intrigued by what she seemed to be saying, but struggling — through the poetry — to under­stand fully her meaning. The trick, of course, is to slow down. This is not a book for speed reading.

In her combination of both poetry and prose, it is as though Lazenby is inviting us to share in her most intimate reflections. It shows a brave and generous vulner­ability — which makes many of the reflections deeply affecting.

In summary, the book is proph­etic. As Lazenby puts it herself, we need prophets who “can walk around in the culture, listen to it, look at it, help it to see what it wor­ships and where it needs to reorient its vision, if it is to pursue its ques­tions with any hope of finding answers”. So, read this book, be in­­spired, and discover your inner prophet.


The Revd Martine Oborne is Vicar of St Michael’s, Chiswick, in London.


Divine Sparks: Everyday encounters with God’s incoming kingdom

Donna Lazenby

SPCK £9.99 (978-0-281-07494-5)

Church Times Bookshop £9




Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)