Book Review: Touching His Robe by Leslie G. Nelson


In Touching His Robe: Reaching Past the Same and Anger of Abuse, author Leslie G. Nelson uses a familiar biblical story as a framework to provide sympathetic insights to those whose relationships with God have been damaged by memories of childhood (and other) abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse.

This powerful, short book is organized into helpful chapters, making it a quick read and one worth rereading to go over certain points again, as the reader feels need. Although I was never a victim of sexual abuse, as a child I was verbally and physically abused by an authority figure (who was fired for it, but not soon enough!) The themes resonated with me.

This book is not for the faint of heart, and likely not for those who do not have some spiritual/religious focus in their lives, as the spiritual references are thoroughgoing. As someoneĀ  who considers herself spiritual (if not religious) however, this book feels like a Godsend.

Some high points worth noting:

  1. Her repeated acknowledgment of the tendency for Christian friends to try to rush the victim toward healing, to simply forget what has happened.
  2. The delicate way in which she urges believers to turn to Jesus and be honest about their anger at other people, and at God.
  3. The courage and vulnerability shown in this work, apparent in its personal style and in her many anecdotes.

Possible Trigger Warning: Although the sexual abuse is never described in detail, it is referenced throughout the text, often alongside recommendations to turn to God. The author speaks positively, as well as negatively, about leaders of her religious group (Mormon), in ways which could be a trigger for some.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this work to any Christian believers (of any denomination) seeking to come to grips with trauma, or to better understand the struggles of someone they know, so as to be able to respond.

*Note this review is based on a book I received for free from Library Thing, in exchange for an honest review.