I spent over ten minutes asking this library attendant to get me a book behind him. Over ten minutes. I was patient. I was being a Christian. I asked politely, simply. He ignored me blatantly yet slyly. He collected money from people who came to renew their library cards and gave them change and checked the list to be sure they had paid, he answered them just as they came up after me.
I felt weird. I felt abused. I was very patient, my voice loud yet small as something inside of me felt more inadequate the longer I waited. There was a guy beside me, who came after me, he asked for a textbook. Library attendant whom I’ve always greeted politely, stood up from his chair, got the book for him, sat back. The same guy asked for another book, the man stood again, got it for him. Before he sat, I asked him to get mine. A girl can never fully know if it’s her gender thats causing the bias. He ignored me, looking at others who came for library card renewal. You get that kind of pretence stance.
Something in the back of my throat knotted. I walked inside the library without the book. Tears were close. For what reason? Thoughts came, because I didn’t use makeup? Because I was polite? What was my offence? Why wasn’t I firmer in demanding when he delayed? Why did I want to cry? Why did I want to cry? Should I have been rude? Why? Why?
I’ll go back. I’ll tell him I demand a textbook. Another of my choice now, I’ve had time to rethink what I want to read. I’ll embrace the knot that formed at the back of my throat. It will speak better things for me in the years to come. I’ve lost a coat. I’m going outside now to offer another.
It’s surprising to me too, but this happened to me.
So what’s your view people?
-on the religious aspect
-On the tears
-and other themes
Fight or flight for you?
Before my university two weeks semester break began, I was certain I was going to read so many books. I was only yet to draw out the list of fiction, autobiography and Christian literature I would read. I was only yet to.
The break has turned out entirely different but I’m super grateful for how it finally turned out. It’s been tough keeping up with certain demands in my fellowship but I’ll probably never build so much strength without it.
A good thing that came out of the break was that I completed a book by Francine Rivers. I did so in no time, really. In this book, she really pushed strong Christian views forward. In light of my previous reading of her work, doctrinally, she came on tough. Well, Precious people, let me review it before putting all my opinions before your face. (sidenote: I’ve been calling everyone precious these days, good innit?)
The title of the book is “The atonement child”, authored by Francine Rivers.
My copy was published by Tyndale house publishers inc, Wheaton Illinois and it has 376 pages.
I was in a Christian library the other day, when I saw a book with a colourful cover page on a shelf.
It’s title – ” Aids is real and it is in our church“.
To be honest, I can imagine most pastors swiftly yet steadily glancing away with sufficient experience, from that book with the colourful cover page. But aids is in our church. Who’s gonna pick up the book? Against that backdrop, “The atonement child” is also a book that hinges on a topic that makes us all avert our gaze to the side. It’s based on a somewhat sensitive issue. Abortion.
In a moment too short to have had the weight and consequence it eventually had, Dynah Carey was raped. Painfully. Brutally.
Beautiful Dynah, sweet Dynah, blonde-hair Dynah, God-adoring Dynah. Her life had been close to perfect. I enjoyed reading how she went down to New Life College in Illinois to school and how she met Ethan who swept her off her feet, yes. However, her life hit rock bottom after the rape and she was forced to reconsider everything she had ever known, and forced to put things in perspective, one day at a time.
The main characters were Dynah; Ethan, her fiance; Hannah, her mother; Doug, her father; Joe, her friend; Evie, her grand-mother. Quite a circle. The characters are very credible and they felt so many emotions. The characters seemed to have been faced with trials they couldn’t bear, they ran into lots of problems.
My favourite character is Dynah. She was able to pull through beautifully (this involved lots of tears and questioning God, running away, quitting school) but it serves to tell how much dignity can still be pulled on, in ugly circumstances. If I told you who my second favourite character is, I’ll probably begin to gush and digress and I will mention my third favourite. You already know I love the book, I don’t need to make it any more obvious.
Beautiful as the characters were, I couldn’t relate on a personal level. Our experiences differ and the setting different. My favourite part of the book was a certain widows brigade meeting. Some elderly women who were close friends and met together every Sunday for the past four years to share lunch, sorrows and joy. I liked that potrayal because it touches on vulnerability and on the courage to call on the commander of the army, to go to war against the enemy.
This book while focusing on Dynah, was able to efficiently branch out to the lives of people affected by abortion: The doctors who perform it, the families of the doctors and what they felt or didn’t feel, the parents of those who aborted and reasons for supporting or opposing it, the men for whom pregnancies were aborted and their disposition for the rest of their lives , the pastors from whom counselling was sought, their errors and their excellence, the schools with no tolerance policy for pregnancy and the blind eyes turned to rape circumstances, the government and the position of the law, pro-life support groups and what they really care about.
On the issue of pro-life organizations, this book subtly dealt with why these organizations should focus more on the women thinking of having or who have had abortions and should not only be concerned with ‘saving the child’
This book had exceedingly thrilling points despite it the solemn theme.
I’ll recommend this to all and sundry because we all have a thing or two in perspective about abortion which needs changing.
On having Pastors having no answers :
He looked into her eyes and saw fear and confusion, her anguish. He wanted to weep. He knew the answer to that question in his heart. He knew the answer by all he had studied over the years in the word. But he couldn’t bring himself to give a one word answer to such a loaded question.
On Christian zeal:
Douglas had noticed that when they first met Ethan. “He’s on fire alright but that kind of fire can burn churches down”
she had thought she had cried to last a lifetime when she was nineteen. Now she realized she’d had no clue what grief was. She hadn’t known how deep it could go or how long it could last and that there were ramifications she hadn’t suspected.
Sometimes when she read her Bible, she envied the Israelite. They could wear sack clothes and ashes. They could wail and scream. They could prostrate themselves before the lord
anger stirred. Frenetic activities seemed to be Ethan’s forte. And safety valve. When he didn’t want to face something, he served mightily as for the lord. But not really. It was easier to teach God’s word than to live it
On people’s justifications for abortion:
“it would seem life could be built upon the foundation of death”.
“besides the supreme court doesn’t agree with you. They seem to think we poor women would fall apart if we knew the facts, so they decided women don’t have the right to know the full truth” she shook her head “they’ve made it legal to withhold vital information, even when a woman asks for it…and do you know the argument they used for withholding information? They say it spares women trauma…”
On facing the truth:
“she lifted her shoulders slightly, unable to explain, not sure she wanted to diagnose her feelings. Perhaps it was best not to examine some things too closely. You might find corruption.
On compromises made for love:
she hadn’t wanted to think about it too much or look too closely, not when the love of her life was so intimately involved. She couldn’t bear to think he might be wrong
He brushed a tear from her cheek. “you’re borrowing trouble, Dynah. You’re worrying about what might happen. Deal with now”
On love for Children:
“I remember my son going through a period in the seventies when he said he didn’t want to bring children into such an awful world, ” Evie said” I told him people who cared so much about children should be the ones having them”
Love and books,
We all need to write from a place we get. A familiar place and for that I thought:
God, food, family, quiet
The thing with fasting, she thought, was that it was never fully familiar. You could do it and get used to it on most days but on certain days, it was no respecter of persons. It clubbed and clubbed until the soldiers defending you dropped down their defences and you were under seige. Captured. Your stomach desolate. Burnt down like Jerusalem*.
In this case however you’re not really comforted by knowing a day is coming when you will eat. All your focus is on that moment. That day. Perhaps an opening for a meal will arrive. Can it arrive? You know it won’t. So maybe all the prophecies brought by Isaiah and Jeremiah did not pump up the Israelites. They had lost their glory beyond redemption as they saw it.
But God had a plan.
Dear stomach, on days you’re lost and depressed, God has a plan. Jerusalem was restored. Yaaay people. Yaaay.
* Jerusalem’ capture is recorded in 2 Kings 25 and see Haggai2:9 for the hope for the later house.
N. B: I’m no foodie. I just have to write about the things on my heart, you get it:)?
Though our outer man perishes, our inner man is being renewed. Yaaaay🙌.
Love and more fasting,