Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder's Meditations on Hope and Courage
Darkness will not last forever. Together we can climb toward the light.
They were as troubled as we, our ancestors, those who came before us, and all for the very same reasons: fear of illness, a broken heart, fights in the family, the threat of another war. Corrupt politicians walked their stage, and natural disasters appeared without warning. And yet they came through, carrying us within them, through the grief and struggle, through the personal pain and the public chaos, finding their way with love and faith, not giving in to despair but walking upright until their last step was taken. My culture does not honor the ancestors as a quaint spirituality of the past but as a living source of strength for the present. They did it and so will we.
In the same voice that has comforted and challenged countless readers through his daily social media posts, Choctaw elder and Episcopal priest Steven Charleston offers words of hard-won hope, rooted in daily conversations with the Spirit and steeped in Indigenous wisdom. Every day Charleston spends time in prayer. Every day he writes down what he hears from the Spirit. In Ladder to the Light he shares what he has heard with the rest of us and adds thoughtful reflection to help guide us to the light.
Native America knows something about cultivating resilience and resisting darkness. For all who yearn for hope, Ladder to the Light is a book of comfort, truth, and challenge in a time of anguish and fear.
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About the Author
Steven Charleston is a leading voice of justice for Indigenous peoples, the environment, and spiritual renewal. A member of the Choctaw Nation, Charleston has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, BBC World News, and other outlets. The author of more than a dozen books on theology and spirituality, including Ladder to the Light, Charleston has served as the Episcopal bishop of Alaska, president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, and professor of systematic theology at Luther Seminary. He served as the theologian in residence at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. Charleston lives with his wife, Susan, in Oklahoma.