In Where the Colors Blend
, Stephen Copeland's self-discovery and God-discovery is told over a period of six years in the context of an annual retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Roanoke, Virginia, where an obscure, forty-year-old church softball tournament takes place each summer to raise funds for mission work in Paraguay. In stepping into these stories, and sharing them with the reader, Stephen simultaneously journeys deeper within himself, discovering the divine in the process and taking readers deep into the throes of doubt, deconstruction, and depression. But it's there, in the darkness, that an authentic hope finds him. Throughout the narrative, readers experience with Stephen a number of paradigm shifts in the areas of:
Spirituality: from exhausting oneself trying to get close to God to simply abiding: awakening to who we already are at the core of our beings as children of God. Psychology: from suppressing emotions, pains, and insecurities to curiously and non-judgmentally exploring them. Relationships: from trying to change others or silently judging them to accepting others as they are and learning from those who are most different than ourselves: abandoning ignorance and arrogance. Art, writing, and work: from being taunted by internal demands and a relentless pursuit of perfection to simply enjoying the gift of the process.
Stephen's present-tense narrative, mysteriously unfolding all the way, is free-thinking and free-flowing, swinging from humor to complex theology, from someone else's story to sudden introspectiveness and application, creating a unique experience for readers as it challenges them to adopt their own lifestyle of introspection and contemplation.