Thursday, February 14, 2013

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the traditional beginning of Lent when we prepare for the celebration of Easter. Each year, I try to spend at least a few minutes re-reading and thinking about T.S. Eliot's great poem "Ash Wednesday." This year the lines that stuck with me were:

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will

It is well worth your time to pull up the poem and consider it during this season of preparation.

And, moving from the sublime to the, well, less sublime, I recently read Jerry B. Jenkins Riven. The book is classed as "Inspirational," but I personally found it to be depressing. And yet, I also found myself with tears in my eyes as Jenkins brought his characters to their very predictable conclusions. This is the story of a "trailer trash" boy with no father and a drunken mother with more "boyfriends" than he could count. He is a smart, promising child with great talent and charisma who falls continually into the wrong path. It is also the story of a small church pastor who is afraid he has wasted his life because he has not spread the Word as well as he feels he should have. The majority of the book is sad and most of the plotting is cliche, however, I was deeply moved as the final scene played out.

The message in the end is positive, but you've go to wade through a lot of suffering to get there!

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