Stumbling Toward God: A Prodigal’s Return

by Margaret D. McGee
(Innisfree Press, 2002)


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What do you get when you mix an atheist, a Unitarian, and an Episcopalian? …

From the first chapter:

In the fall of 1986, I was an atheist. All the same, I wrote this prayer:

Dear God, sustain me in my hour of need.
Stay with me; be my friend.
When I misstep, light my path.
When I hurt, comfort me.
Help me see that I’m not the only one in pain.
Give me the strength to accept myself for what I am.

I didn’t believe the universe was created by the deliberate act of a sentient Being. I believed that no such Being watched over us, heard or responded to our prayers, loved us, felt joy when we were good or sorrow when we were bad, or felt anything at all for that matter.

Holding that opinion, I wrote my prayer. After writing it, I cried and felt better. I read it again the next day, taped it to my computer monitor, and prayed it on an almost-daily basis for weeks. As an atheist, what did I think I was doing?

The only thing I knew was that something had changed inside me. Like many people who have a paradoxical experience with God, I was in a mess – a mess that involved other people – and looking for a way out.

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Awarded First Place for Nonfiction Book in the PNWA Literary Competition.

Stumbling Toward God traces a woman’s spiritual search with an unusual twist – from an “atheist who prays” to unorthodox membership in two radically different churches: Unitarian and Episcopal. An honest, satisfying read for anyone questioning or seeking a spiritual path.

What others say about Stumbling Toward God:

“An offbeat, engagingly written, appealingly uncertain spiritual memoir.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“This book is the real stuff. Read it carefully—carefully because the fine writing will repay your attention, and carefully because it’s the kind of quietly dangerous material that just might change you.”
—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

“Thoughtful … compelling … I see this book as the work of an exceptional creative intelligence—Kathleen Norris meets Dorothy Parker.”
—Dr. Janet O. Dallett, author of The Not-Yet-Transformed God: Depth Psychology and the Individual Religious Experience