Synopses & Reviews
What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself?
When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.
On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husbands recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isnt seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.
As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things shes never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?
"Don't let David Gregory's simple writing style fool you: the message shared throughout A Day with a Perfect Stranger is profound and the questions he raises are life changing." Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Bad Girls of the Bible
"Fasten your seatbelt for another marvelously divine encounter with the Perfect Stranger! Once again, Gregory masterfully demonstrates just how passionately and intimately our God loves each one of us." Shannon Ethridge, best-selling author of Every Woman's Battle and Every Woman's Marriage
"This book has the potential to make people think about what drives them, what keeps them from God, and what will ultimately fulfill them."
Lisa Tawn Bergren, best-selling author of The Begotten
When her husband comes home with a ridiculous story about eating dinner with Jesus, Mattie views an out-of-town business trip as a welcome escape from his delusions. On her flight, an unexpectedly personal conversation with a fellow passenger causes her to reconsider her skepticism of Nick's story.
About the Author
David Gregory is the author of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and coauthor of two nonfiction books. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning two master's degrees. He is a native of Texas.
Reading Group Guide
1. What do you see as the primary theme of A Day with a Perfect Stranger
? In what ways does this theme relate to your own life? Explain.
2. What aspect of the book held the most meaning for you personally? Why?
3. What in the character of Jesus, as presented in the book, appealed to you the most? Why?
4. What would you say is the main purpose of Matties life before she encounters Jesus? What life purpose does Jesus invite her into?
5. Why does Mattie find her marriage unfulfilling? Can you relate in any way to the hopelessness Mattie feels about her relationship with Nick? Perhaps in your case it is a relationship, or perhaps something else. What is the hope that Jesus offers her? How does that hope relate to your situation?
6. How does Jesus use the word “religion” in the book (see page 57)? What does he say religion produces (see especially chapter 4)? In what ways has religiosity pushed you further away from real intimacy with God?
7. Jesus comments that people (men in this case) often “werent loved for who they are but instead for how they performed” (pages 32—33). Where can you find love that is unconditional, rather than based on how you perform? How could knowing you are loved that way affect your life?
8. Talk about Jesuss and Matties discussion of fulfillment in life. From what things have you personally sought fulfillment? How much fulfillment did these things end up providing? Explain.
9. If your life continues in its current direction, when it draws to a close, will you have been ultimately fulfilled? Why or why not? What implications does this have for decisions you may want to make?
10. On page 66, Jesus says that “true fulfillment cant be found in the created realm. Only God himself can satisfy the human heart. You were created for God. Nothing else will satisfy.” What implication does this have for how you are living your life?
11. Can you relate to how Mattie describes parenthood (pages 52—54)? If you are a parent, what does your love for your children tell you about Gods love for you?
12. Read back through the Bible verses Jesus writes on the pad (pages 75 and 88). Based on these verses, how would you describe Gods heart toward you?
13. Between you and God, who is really pursuing whom? What are the implications of the fact that you are a responder in a relationship with God, not an initiator?
14. On page 83, Jesus says, “The human heart, once distanced from God, is not easily won back to its source of life and goodness.” Why do you think this is the case? What is blocking you from fully experiencing the source of true life?
15. Jesus speaks to Mattie about the importance of listening to God. To listen, one must be connected to him at the deepest level. How does Jesus indicate this connection is established (see the bottom of page 89). Have you made this permanent connection?
16. What does it take to really listen to someone? What might it take to really listen to what God wants to say to you?
17. In the book, what does Jesus mean when he talks about delighting in God (see pages 78—79)? What would it look like for you to delight in God? How would it change your life if you did?
18. Think about Jesuss and Matties conversation about her sister Julie and suffering (pages 81—84). For Julie, why will having God overshadow the pain she has experienced? In what way can Gods love heal all?
19. Think about suffering that you have experienced in your life. How do the following facts affect your perspective on suffering?
·God himself suffered more than anyone by dying for your sins
·God uses your suffering to awaken your need for true intimacy with him
20. Why would having God live in her, learning to listen to Gods voice, and deeply knowing Gods love enable Mattie to become the person she was meant to be?