Faith: I'm tempted to tackle this one from a purely Biblical point of view, but as we are talking about TALKING TO THE DEAD, by Bonnie Grove, I guess I'll have to give that some space here (smile everyone). In TALKING TO THE DEAD we find our heroine, Kate Davis, exercising what little faith she has left, only to have it challenged, rebuffed, ridiculed, dismissed and betrayed. But before we go any further we must define what faith is. Faith is trusting in something so strongly that you don't have to see it to know it's there. You don't have to be able to touch it. We learn to trust as little children, well most of us anyway. We learn faith and exercise faith based on what we observe. We see a chair, well, we have faith that it will hold us when we sit down. We find stairs and not only do we have faith that they will hold us, but that they lead to a place of interest, that they are useful. When someone puts food in front of you you eat it because you have faith that it is good to eat, even if sometimes you don't like what is presented. In many ways we act upon faith. Things, however, can jar our faith. Like walking up stairs only to have them start to fall beneath us, or our chair scooting across the room so we land unceremoniously on the floor. How much more must it be to have faith that the one you love will grow old with you only to find out they have died suddenly? And how would it shake your faith if you suddenly heard someone who was dead start talking to you? What about those friends you trusted in for so many years and you found out they were lying to you, would that shake your faith. Kate's journey is not so much one to find a healthy mental frame of mind as it is one to see if there is anything out there she can still put her faith in. We all go through this at some level. The author has taken this to an extreme, I believe, for a reason. She wants to make sure we don't miss it. And that is excellent, because this is something that should not be missed.
Who cares if Kate sleeps in the living room or upstairs in her bedroom? What is more important is that she finds that there is One she can place her faith in. The steps in finding out that answer are small, and weave in and out of many other problems. It's like going through a mental exercise to see if we can hold a snowflake long enough to enjoy its beauty, and then remember that picture forever, long after it has melted in our warm hands. Yet, every time we try we can catch a glimpse of what a snow flake looks like, but as soon as it melts away we cannot remember its glory. This is the same thing with Kate. She gets right up to where she's supposed to be and then all of a sudden she finds she's lost again. Like someone slipping down a steep hill, grabbing at anything to keep from falling, Kate finds that each thing she grabs hold of is like that dead branch that has no root to it. It pulls loose in her hand as she slides further down towards oblivion. Yet she keeps looking, searching, hoping that somewhere there is something she can have faith in again. When she runs into Jack it is finding a clump of grass that is not very strong, but it does have roots, it will hold her and keep her from sliding further, at least temporarily. Now she must find stronger hold, something stronger than Jack.
Did you know that God loves us so much that often He allows us to reach the very bottom before we are able to find our way out? It's true. The reason for this isn't that God is mean and cruel. He's not like some kid who takes pleasure out of pulling apart his kid sister's toys. No, God loves us with a love that is so great we cannot even imagine how great He loves us. I mean He chose to become man, just so He could die for you and me and pay the penalty for sin that He had leveled against all people because of what we had done to Him. It's an absurdity that the apostle Paul refers to as "the foolishness of God", but goes on to say, "confounds the wisdom of men." What I'm getting at is that for you, me, for all the Kates in life, God will let us get all the way to the bottom, not because He hates us, but because He loves us. Now He would be thrilled if we would turn to Him and trust Him before it came to that, but often we force Him to let us keep sinking deeper and deeper until finally we cry out, "I can't do this. God get me out." In that moment God reaches down and lifts us up. Why? Because we have admitted that we cannot do what He has asked to do, and because we have finally asked for His help. When we come to that point, when we repent and ask for His help, anything is possible. Faith blossoms like a beautiful garden in spring. No longer are we sliding down towards an abyss, but cradled in His loving arms. As we catch our breath and realize this remarkable love He has for us, He holds us close. The beating of His heart becomes our heart beat. Finally we know we are home. Finally we know we are loved.
Don't forget to visit Bonnie's site. You'll find her fiction page HERE
Then you'll probably want to go out and purchase a copy. Here are some links to where you can find her book for sale online:
David C. Cook Publishing
Barnes & Noble
Check out these other member blogs this week for more
The Christian Fiction Review Blog (known as CFRB) is a ministry that promotes quality Christian fiction in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be shared with others who might otherwise not hear it, at least in a context that they would appreciate and understand. Each book is "previewed" in order to maintain the quality and content of the book. Books that are accepted for blog tours are given to the members by the author to review, according to the number of members requesting a copy. It is the belief and practice of CFRB to post positive reviews as a type of payment for these books. However, I want to emphasize again that these books first go through a preview stage where they are deemed of a high enough quality to tour.