This was the best-selling book in the Baha’i Community the year the first edition came out. It sold 3,000 copies in 6 months, when most Baha’i books don’t do that in 6 years. Here’s why:
Falling Into Grace takes an honest look at the many things in the Bahá’í Community that can test your faith from the fellow Bahá’ís that make you want to scream to the difficult laws that make you want to give up trying the kinds of tests that you are afraid to share with your friends and even those you are afraid to admit to yourself. It shines a bright light on these tests, and in illuminating them, it reduces their power. This book says “you are not alone,” and, even better, “you are not a bad Bahá’í for struggling with these issues.” Struggling with these tests is what ennobles us, and sharing our struggles is what helps us create a real feeling of community. As the title suggests, we must be willing to fall before we can be lifted up through grace.
Falling Into Grace has helped over 5,000 Bahá’ís feel “normal” again and reconnect with their communities with more joy and less shame than ever before. It makes a great gift for new Bahá’ís, long-time Bahá’ís, estranged Bahá’ís, and even serious seekers.
I am deeply gratified by the response I have received to my book about becoming and staying a Bahá’í. Even before the book was released, I received a request to reprint the introduction in an interfaith women’s newsletter. Since then I have been told it has been used for deepenings, given to entire Assemblies, and “transformed the soul” of even long-time Bahá’ís. One woman said that “the good news is that I loved it. The bad news is that it has caused me to change my life!”
Though many comments have come by phone from people ordering their second batch, a few people have been kind enough to write down their thoughts and send them to me. Perhaps the most moving response I got was a call from a member of a Bahá’í family I have admired for years. He said that the book resolved an issue that his wife had been struggling with for years, and called the book “transformative.”
Please click on the REVIEWS tab to see some (mostly) unsolicited comments about the book. They are mostly from the first edition, so they are entered as comments rather than reviews, but I promise they are real. You can read even more reviews at Amazon by clicking here.
Written by Justice St Rain, author of My Baha’i Faith and Why Me?
These reviews were sent by e-mail for the first edition. You can read more recent reviews at Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Falling-into-Grace-Justice-Rain/product-reviews/1888547030/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews
From a New Bahai –
Well, I finally took the step [declaration] today! It seemed like the right step, the only way to go. Falling Into Grace helped, along with a few other “co-incidences.” Thank you so much for giving me the book to read. I finally decided that I had no choice, that I was already chosen, that I didn’t have to feel ready or needy or worthy. It was all a matter of GRACE, and it was a gift, all free, there waiting for me.
From a Facebook comment –
Oh, I wish you were here! We could make popcorn (no more ice cream and brownies for me), say prayers together, and TALK about all this stuff.
There was just so much that I identified with in this book, more than just the issues we discussed. It also addressed something I have had a long-term problem with: the fact that I came from the lower-class background that Baha’is SAY they want to reach, but can’t actually seem to deal with in person. I loved where he advised that when you are cornered by someone who wants to tell you (for example) how to dress, how to sit, how to talk, et al; to just giggle in response. Thank YOU Justice!
Oh, and his explanation of why people leave the Faith, oh boy, did it ever click. That they couldn’t take the stress of the guilt and shame in their secret lives while pretending that everything is perfect. I’m not putting it as well as he did, but you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure. When I was living with Leon years and years ago, I packed my Baha’i books in a suitcase so I wouldn’t constantly feel reproached by them. And I think with sorrow of Baha’is I knew well who left the Faith and that was it, that was it, no matter what excuse they found. How wonderful if we could all be more honest with each other and could give and receive the love and support we all need from time to time.
From a Facebook comment –
And i just picked up “Falling Into Grace” while at my unit
convention last weekend. Am about a third of the way into it. Hot
Tom Behrendt –
I am currently reading “Falling into Grace” how wonderful and how honest. When I finish I might even recommend it for a group that is restarting after the 1st of the year. A few years ago I studied about culture shock and re-entry culture shock but never thought of that in terms of entering the Baha’i Culture.
Thanks for all your hard work.
David Mueller –
…Few other books by Baha’i authors have discussed life in the American Baha’i Community with such candor and compassion…. The Baha’i Community needs such books as these to see itself as it really is rather than as it wishes it were…. I hope you can see how much I got out of “Falling Into Grace” and understand the earnestness I feel that it will be read by many, many Baha’i who I have no doubt will be helped by it. I deeply believe that before the Baha’i Community can make a real impact in changing a sorely tried world, it must first see itself as it is and make a start in altering its internal culture into one more fully capable of not only accepting but actively cherishing the vast diversity of the population it hopes to envelop.
Wendy Scott –
I just ordered ten copies of your book. It is just excellent! Even for someone who’s been a Baha’i for 35 years like I have, it has some stuff I really hadn’t thought about before.
Tony Joy –
Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your most wonderful book Falling Into Grace. In my twenty six years as a Baha’i I have not seen a more valuable contribution to our literature. It is essential to our collection and for every Baha’i in my view.
From a friend of a friend –
You were soooooo right about this wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL book. It has lightened my heart a LOT. I feel almost as though it has been pumped full of helium and is floating above me, tethered by just a string. It made me remember being 17 and the thrill of being a new Baha’i, oh what wonderful days those were. I feel almost as though Justice were part of our group of youth — how we spent so much time together, enthralled with the Faith and with each other. Do you remember? Oh, boy!… You were right about this book speaking so exactly to the issues I’ve been struggling with—guilt, shame, forgiveness, even about being open to receiving God’s material gifts!
Burl Barer –
I probably already told you this, but I think Falling into Grace is about the coolest, on-target, honest, helpful book for new and old Baha’is alike.
Karen Sadar Watt –
I love your book! I read it in a day. It moved me to both laughter and tears…. I appreciate the clarity of your ideas and your positive and humorous approach to the verities of the Faith and the challenges of being a believer – whether old or new!