Oct 31, 2022
This week Mike and Sarah talk with author Mitalia Perkins about her new book The Story of Us.
Acclaimed author Mitali Perkins grew up loving nature. As her family moved often, she learned to appreciate the beauty and variety of the natural settings of her homes in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York, and Mexico. It wasn’t until age 12 or 13 that she became aware of natural disasters, and realized that the elements–fire, water, air, and earth, can also be terrifying.
Decades later, Perkins’ close friend lost her home in the Woolsey/Malibu fire in 2018. The loss brought back her childhood questions. Why are we, as humans, at war with the elements? Why do we neglect the care of them—the very essence of ourselves and the home God created for us? For comfort, Perkins turned to writing.
The result was The Story of Us, a poem-turned-picture-book that tells the biblical redemption story in a new way, by centering the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire. At the beginning of all things, Creator uses the elements to make humans. When creation falls into chaos—resulting in greed, war, and devastation—Redeemer comes as a baby, growing up to use air, water, earth, and fire in seemingly small ways to heal and serve. Next, Restorer arrives, calling us to care for the elements as we wait for the day when lasting peace will come between them and us.
Perkins’ lyrical message is brought to life by the luminous art of illustrator team Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell. It’s a thought-provoking work that invites readers young and old to ponder our own relationship to nature and the Divine.