Set Free to Soar is a book of prayers, poems and praises that is inundated with the creative and reflective anecdotes of Ms. Sutherland’s lived experiences. The book is both timely and inspiring. It explores different topics from parenting, friendship, divorce, commitment to one’s faith to the topic of peace in the time of storm. Although the book is written from a Christian standpoint, the material will be beneficial to anyone who might be wrestling with the meaning of life or challenging life situations. Prayer is the key to unlocking the hidden secrets of life. Many faiths, Christianity included, encourage their followers to make prayer an integral part of their lived realities. Prayer becomes the official way of inviting the supernatural to intervene in the affairs of the natural. For those of us whose lived experiences have been grounded in spiritual ontology, prayer has never ceased to be useful in our individual and collective well-being. Sutherland’s work reminds us of the relevance of balancing the material with the spiritual as humanity searches for answers to complex and sophisticated questions facing us in the 21st century. This is a must read book for anyone searching for answers beyond the material. —Professor Wane Njoki, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto
What sets this book of inspirational poems apart is the way the writer grounds her work in the love of God while at the same time showing how such love spans the scope of human experience. The themes in this work not only speak to and touch on critical human experiences, they also inspire the reader to look beyond what may seem disabling situations, to a God who understands and cares enough to intervene. Here, Michelle not only invites her readers to a mere reading experience, but beyond—to participate in and experience a divine-human encounter. This is the essence of this book, which, in my opinion, sets it apart as a must read. —Clarence Duff, Ph.D., Professor, Canada Christian College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Michelle Mae Sutherland, M.Ed., B.Ed., H.B.Sc., is an educator, published author, poet, songwriter and dedicated mother of two sons, Lemar and Moses. Michelle has been writing poems and songs since 2001 and has been performing and publishing her work since 2007. Michelle’s journey has taken her from an acclaimed performance of Set Free to Soar at the Daddy’s Girl Conference hosted by her church, the Kingdom Covenant Centre (KCC), to the publication of an inspirational poem, “We Are Spiritual People.” This literary work was published in the book entitled, Poetry of Resistance, Anthology 2011, Volume 1. She has chronicled her struggles, tribulations and triumphs in Set Free to Soar which demonstrates how she has overcome by the power, support and grace of God. Michelle’s prayer is that her poetry will minister to the hearts of her readers and exalt the name of the Most High God.