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Joshua M. Casey’s first book, Tracking Desire: A Memoir(ish) Walk Through Faith, Failure, and Finding God Under My Feet, is a story for those still searching for the Source of their inconsolable longing. Framing his own journey through the spiritual pilgrimage of the Church year, the universal human movements of expectation and arrival, death and life, are given fresh perspective.

The book’s movement could best be described by its opening and closing epigraphs:

First the fall, and then the recovery from the fall, and both are the mercy of God. —Julian of Norwich

But what does it matter? We have lived and worked together now. Things might have been different, but they could not have been better. —J. R. R. Tolkien

These arcs follow Joshua through the death of his father before his tenth birthday; growing into deep belief in his pastoral “call”; his growing dis-ease with his evangelical tradition (and, eventually, the entire institution); two college ministries; the priesthood; and ultimately, out of the only work he ever conceived doing. They also pursue Joshua through marital infidelity, reconciliation, and shifting conceptions of human beings’ longings and desires for each other. 

Tracking Desire is no panacea for the spiritually dispossessed, but neither does it leave readers in the throes of confusion. Rather, it offers a faith trajectory beyond the confines of the Church, by identifying the Christ Story across all Story, encouraging readers to find Christ in the people all around and, eventually, in the very earth “under their feet.”

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