Henri Nouwen wisely said, "The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there." Jesus has "been there" and knows how to lead us out--but first, he just may lead us in. He meets us in the desert and does his best work in us there. We look for an easier way in vain. I myself reluctantly entered the desert and eventually received unimagined gifts there--gifts I didn't ask for, deserve, or want--gifts hidden in such painful loss that I despaired--and yet, looking back now, these "desert gifts" were the best thing that ever happened to me. I entered the desert, and years later, found my way out. It's not a new way, it was just new to me. Jewish and Christian sages had been living it for thousands of years. Somehow, in recent generations, we managed to forget it. In this collection I mean to begin to make those riches available to you. I'm hoping that like me, you'll discover something that you didn't know you wanted or needed--and something now you wouldn't give up at any price.