Tuesday, May 31, 2011

While the world sleeps

I find in the late evening I read. I read when I am alone with my thoughts and I don't like the thinking. I read when my husband works late and I don't have the security of his presence beside me. And I read when I find a book that can stimulate my failing memory and captivate my attention. Therefore, a good book can wile away otherwise hollow hours.

If you pick this up expecting an ordinary book, you will find it very disappointing. It reads like a housewife's private journal written in poetry. There is depth to her gifted pen, but you have to get past the lack of clarity. In the last chapter her analogies went too far and felt uncomfortable. However, the rest of the book stimulated me to savor the messy moments and mundane chores in communion with God like Brother Lawrence did in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God.

The fanciful title is perfect for this transparent and unique account. The author relates her childhood with almost unattachment so there is no self-pity or what-if. She writes with deep tenderness about her quirky parents and their obsessive behavior and how it shaped her youth. I loved that she is never a victim of her parent's folly and chose to love them unconditionally. I loved how her parents refused to go on Welfare and passed on dignity and commitment to each other. It is truly a endearing read even though it has some sordid parts.

A good, clean crisp mystery with an enchanting writing style set in 1950s England. For the chemists out there, they can verify the formulas and get ideas from the precocious heroine on poisons. Use them only on the slugs in your garden and the bats in your belfry, and mum is the word.

Church history is easy to glean from this series. I hope to have Alex read these this summer so he can gain perspective on the course of Christianity. After reading this, I think the church is still under attack, but in America most of it is internal. The wide acceptance of universalism, comfort Christianity and substitution of Christ's once-for-all sufficient sacrifice are more deadly than Nero's beheadings. Those ancient believers were being obedient to Jesus' words, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." They stand resurrected with Jesus. The modern church is teetering on the grave. May I have the wisdom to teach the tenants of Christianity to my children and may they have the good fortune to see their children walk in them.

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