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,