The Language of the Soul

Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts

The Language of the Soul

Meeting God in the Longings of Our Hearts

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For over fifteen years, writer Jeff Crosby has been searching for a language of the soul--a way to articulate our deepest longings. Through the years he gathered clues from within global music styles, from different cultures, from his own Christian tradition and its sacred texts--and from deep within himself.

A lover of words, he sought not only to translate our longings into words but to understand why these seemingly universal yearnings have long remained unnamed. Now in these pages, Crosby gifts us with those so-often-untranslatable desires of our hearts, guiding us to finally find the words and luminous insights for our own longings for home, for friendship, for forgiveness, and for transformation--and how God meets us in the midst of these longings. Eschewing easy answers, Crosby begins the naming process, helping us to make connections--and to recognize, within ourselves and our faith, our heart's true home.

Download The Language of the Soul conversation guide and journal—perfect for group or individual study and reflection.


"The reason I have come to love this book so much is because Jeff Crosby has given me language for feelings that I carry with me everywhere I go but have struggled to name. And I promise it will do the same for you."

from the foreword by Suzanne Stabile, author of The Journey Toward Wholeness and The Path Between Us

"In reading this book it hit me--this mysterious, untranslatable feeling is something we all have. All people. At all times. Everywhere. I am grateful to Jeff Crosby for giving all of us these wonderful words. I will treasure this book for the rest of my life."

from the afterword by James Bryan Smith, author of The Magnificent Journey

"Open-hearted, accessible, and drawn from deep wells of reflection, this lovely book about the longings we know but can sometimes barely name offers solace and hope. Worth reading slowly, this book is an invitation to feel and reflect on our own deepest longings and where they may lead us."

Marilyn McEntyre, author of Where the Eye Alights and Word by Word

"This is one of the finest books I have ever read. Here you will find embodied, practical wisdom located in place, music, story, literature, friendship, nature, faith, and spirituality."

Mark R. McMinn, coauthor of A Time for Wisdom

"What appears to be untranslatable in our interior lives is broadly and wisely interpreted in this important book: we long to be loved; and if God is love, we long for God. Read with gratitude as Jeff Crosby guides us to fully understand our spiritual, physical, and emotional longings."

Christopher de Vinck, author of The Power of the Powerless: A Brother's Legacy of Love and Simple Wonders

"With transparency and wisdom, Crosby walks us through the longings that show we are human and reminds us of the God who meets us right in those very spots, and often through the beauty of community. Pay attention to your saudade. Then read this lovely book."

Karen Stiller, senior editor of Faith Today magazine and author of The Minister's Wife: A Memoir of Faith, Doubt, Friendship, Loneliness, Forgiveness, and More

"In The Language of the Soul Jeff Crosby introduces us to a new word--saudade--that describes an ancient and ever new experience: the longing, burning heart."

Michael Card, singer/songwriter and author of A Sacred Sorrow

"This is a book to cherish, re-read, and discuss in small groups. Especially those who are humbly honest about their own longings, and who want to understand, and perhaps even refine them."

Gregory Clapper, author of When the World Breaks Your Heart


"A thought-provoking consideration of human longing....emotionally resonant insights and soulful prose."

Publishers Weekly

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506480541
  • eBook ISBN 9781506480558
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 203
  • Publication Date May 23, 2023