Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A good book

I am reading A Voice in the Wind, the first of a trilogy by Francine Rivers called The Mark Of the Lion Series. Actually, I have already read the books. I am now reading them to my husband. We've been trying not to watch much TV, and I must say we've done a pretty good job of it. Besides the inevitable that we have to watch like Cardinal's baseball games and the NBA finals that are going on right now, we haven't watched any TV. So in an effort to keep ourselves from turning on the television, I am reading A Voice in the Wind out loud. Quite frankly, it's more for my enjoyment than it is his. I love the trilogy. I love the characters. I love the truths that are presented through the character's flaws and virtues. I love the time setting (right before the fall of the Roman Empire). It is my humble opinion that Francine Rivers did a brilliant job writing these books. Any Christian fiction that can intrigue a Believer to study the Bible, compel them to live more Christ-centered, and assure them of God's faithfulness is well worth reading. I found myself crying, laughing, and rejoicing over God's goodness throughout these books.

There is no missing the significant way Mrs. Rivers portrays God's sovereignty. She does this beautifully through the life of one of the main characters, Haddassah. Haddassah is a Jew who becomes a Christian at a very young age. Haddassah is perhaps the most significant and gripping of all the characters throughout the whole series. During a time in history when Jews and Christians were once again being persecuted, Haddassah remains faithful to the crucial truth that God is in control and He is good no matter what his sovereign will brings forth. The pagan's in the story cannot believe that she would still worship and praise the same God that had destroyed her homeland but Haddassah is not discouraged, for she knows her God is good and wills everything to His good purposes. You will find that she often quotes the Scriptures to reassure herself of His faithfulness.

I find myself inspired by Haddassah's thankful attitude about everything. Her family was destroyed by the Roman's, yet she is still thankful for them and grateful to be working for them. Even when she was starving and had little more than a few grains to eat she still rejoiced and gave thanks for God's faithfulness. At one point in the story we find that she has given away her only coin to a poor Roman mother whose son is away in the legionnaire fighting. When questioned why she would do such a thing when she herself had no money, she hesitantly replied that she had all she needed. She had a roof over her head, food to satisfy her hunger, and clothes to wear. Remember now that Haddassah is a slave, therefore she is treated as such. Her roof over her head could have been nothing more than a small closet to live in with a mattress as hard as a board to sleep on. Her master's were touched by this act of selfless kindness.

Haddassah is a slave and as such is required to do everything her master's bid her to do. But we find that Haddassah is more then just a common slave, she is a servant. She is pleased to serve her masters. She does not do only what is asked of her. She constantly looks for more ways to serve her masters. Not with a prideful attitude that says "look at how hard i work" (that would come easily to someone like me), but with a genuinely humble attitude Haddassah simply serves.

You may be thinking by now that Haddassah's character is beyond human. That her complete selflessness is something beyond our grasp. If you read the book you will find that to be quite false. I have failed to mention that throughout the story Haddassah does have fears. She does have raging emotions. She does feel guilt over sins. Believe it or not, she does sin. Haddassah is simply a depraved human being who has been graciously redeemed by Jesus Christ. And you never question her depravity. You never feel like she is just a character in a book that an author has created to be perfect. No. You will find yourself longing for that same deep conviction that she holds. The conviction that her God is good. Always good. And that He is faithful to those He has redeemed.

I recommend this series to everyone. I only hope that it will stir in you the same need for Christ as it so sincerely did for me.