At the height of the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s over 100 foreign civilians were taken hostage by Islamic Jihad. As the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy, Terry Waite conducted several successful missions to negotiate the release of numeroous hostages. But in January 1987, while on one of his many visits to Beirut, he was captured himself. Imprisoned for nearly five years, four of them in solitary confinement, he was chained, beaten, frequently blindfolded, and subjected to a mock execution.
In this moving sequence of poems and reflections Terry Waite recalls the highs and lows of his life, both during that ordeal and throughout the happier years of humanitarian work that have followed. They give us a glimpse into the depths of faith, hope and love that sustained him through that intense time of suffering. They also take us into memories of his later life, reminding us of the joy to be found in meaningful work, and in the humanity we share with those around us.
Out of the Silence not only offers a rare insight into one man’s experience in the throes of a bitter conflict of the past; it also bears witness to the enduring power of forgiveness, truth and reconciliation in the face of adverse forces still at work in the world today.
“Out of the Silence is a remarkable book by a remarkable man, a man of great humility and compassion who shares with us his private inner space. The prose gives great insight into the poetry and the result is inspirational. Peace would universally reign if the world were full of people like Terry Waite.”
“Throughout a life of incident and commitment, Terry Waite has recorded his feelings in simple and poignant prose and poetry. It is a record of a unique sensibility.”
“I read and re-read Out of the Silence. I still am rereading it! Terry Waite’s thoughts and questions are totally compelling, whether in prose or in verse.”
“A literary postscript about redemption, and grace.”
“Searingly simple, yet moving honesty . . . is prevalent on each page.”
About The Author
Terry Waite, MBE, CBE, is a British Quaker and Anglican, humanitarian and author. In the 1980s he worked as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy, travelling to the Middle East and negotiating the release of many hostages in Iran, Libya and Lebanon. While negotiating the release of captives in Beirut he was himself taken hostage, resulting in almost five years in captivity, four years of them in solitary confinement. His first book, Taken on Trust, was written in his head when he was denied pen or paper during his captivity. Now in his seventies, Terry Waite holds many honorary doctorates, both in the UK and overseas, and continues to be much sought after as a public speaker. He works for a range of humanitarian causes, including prisoners, the homeless, hostages and their families, and overseas development.
Out of the Silence: Memories, Poems, Reflections is published by SPCK and can be purchased by CLICKING HERE