Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Atonement Child | Francine Rivers

Evie was informed that her grand daughter had been raped, and that she got pregnant as a result. Evie was immediately convinced that her sin of many years ago had caught up with her.

Hannah, Evie’s daughter learnt that Dynah her daughter had been raped. Guilt swept over Hannah. She felt her daughter was being punished for the errors of her yesterdays.

Dynah was raped. She didn’t bargain for it, afterall, she lived an exemplary life of purity and obedience to God’s will. Yet, it happened. And it threw her life into absolute chaos.


 

Francine Rivers’ books have long occupied spaces on my e-bookshelf, but just like my curious case with John Grisham, hadn’t been able to bring myself to read a single one of them. Well, safe to say my unwanted streak has ended with The Atonement Child. Thanks to Ess for recommending it. I owe the reawakening of my reading career to her.

atonement

So, I think it’s hardly ever a bad idea to do a recap (some say review) of books read, for public consumption, or for personal keeps. Always nice to come back to read the summaries that contain the most important points you must have put down. Nice for sentimental reasons, or for relearning/reeducation.

 

Dynah is the main character of the story. A girl raised in a christian home, attending a christian school, engaged to Ethan (some ‘great guy’ with a perfect future ahead of him.) Things were going well until she was raped. The physical and psychological violation had a lasting effect on the turn her life took in ways more complicated than she ever could imagine. I’d go on, but as I said earlier, this is meant to be a recap of a few points (lessons) I took away from the book, so here we go:

  1. You can be all good and do all good and unfortunate things will still happen to you. Bad things and bad people happen to good people and vice versa. There’s no point living with the illusion that life is exactly fair. 
  2. Prayer isn’t necessarily something you have to pre-plan. It could and indeed should be something you do any and everytime. Francine Rivers consistently incorporated simple, original, heartfelt prayers into the lives of her characters, and from the peek I’ve had into some of her other books, that’s her style. A lifestyle of ceaseless prayer ensures that the communication channel with the father is always open.
  3. The abortion choices and circumstances that Evie, Hannah and Dynah faced were not all the same. Francine Rivers made tremendous effort in making the reader to see that while the expected decisions to be taken by a christian in situations are mostly direct, Christians should learn to see angles that could lead to particular circumstances instead of being overly judgmental. It’s not enough to see said angles alone as well. It is expedient to empathize, and then look for ways to help people get through difficult times.
  4. Very often, the people who should know better hurt even more than strangers or children of wrath.
  5. While Dynah was still trying to stay away from her parents to be able to make decisions herself, Joe (bestfriend to her ex-fiance) offered her the chance to live with him for a while to get settled. Even though it seemed a convenient proposition at the time, she refused, citing “the appearance of wrongdoing and the witness (to other people) it bears” as the reason for her refusal. The Bible talks about cutting off the things we could do that could make other people stumble. The inviting choice that Dynah had that she refused is an excellent practical example of such.
  6. Adversity sometimes makes you grow faster and stronger than you would have managed to, had things gone more smoothly for you.
  7. What seems convenient and sensible may be very different from what God will have you do.
  8. We are all ministers, some of us just have smaller congregations.‘ Joe was an unrelenting source of  help to Dynah throughout her troubles. Dynah was his ministry. He didn’t have to have so much, he didn’t have to be so much. The little he did with being who he was and being there went a long way in steadying the course of Diana’s life.
  9. Sometimes, indecision is not a fundamental flaw with you. It’s the weight of the stuff you’re dealing with.

 

There are numerous other points I put down and some others I probably couldn’t identify with at the time of reading. I encourage you to read the book yourself. Let it take you on a journey of realization and re-realization (of some things you’ve known before). Let it instruct you. Let it open your eyes to some of the major challenges people go through that you might take for granted or not even consider at all.

If you stuck with me this far, I really appreciate you.

I hope that your life be an expression of grace, and a proof of Love as you attack the week.

I love you. 🙂

 

 

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Whatever you have to say makes no sense.

doubtful

See this one

Two friends of mine secretly wish/pray for me that I come to see the light as far as paying of tithes is concerned. Their unspoken words, their ‘hmmms’ and their ‘it is well’ whenever the topic comes up tells me all I need to know. 

I imagine a thought such as “All other things about God he believes in might just be for nothing with this ridiculous idea of his” might cross their minds every now and then .

There’s a fellow I know who told me I can’t know more than the “men of God” who strongly emphasize the importance of paying of tithes. She was obviously disgusted I had such an idea from the pit of hell to say I believe in God but I don’t believe in paying of tithes. She prayed that I come to see the light someday.

That was the point I was supposed to be sober. To shed tears and ask for forgiveness for the error of my ways. But sadly, I seemed a hardened fellow, unwilling to bulge even in the face of “superior spiritual evidence” (Only that no evidence was provided except the threat of having to live with a curse. Malachi 3 being the go-to “see-for-yourself” scripture). There are 18 places in the whole Bible tithes were mentioned by the way, and…

At this point, I have to let you know that I have no problem with giving 10% of your income to God. I personally advocate for more. GIVING (not paying) more. And I tell people that care to know that I almost always strive to give more (I am not always successful at this). I mean, I would be doing myself a disservice by totally locking my hands and heart to the idea of giving and by so doing not partaking of the benefits of the universal (not even religious) law of sowing and reaping.

Wait, wait… There’s not a chance that I’m here to dish out some philosophical or exhortational stuff about tithing and whatnot, so let me get to the point.

I have faced situations in which I have supplied people with reasons/documentation as to why I believe in this or I don’t believe in that, and I have found that on several occasions, people have been totally unwilling to even examine the facts/ideas presented to them for two major reasons:

  1. People like to be ‘visibly’ right (even if they don’t believe in their hearts) many times.
  2. Preconceived notions/mindsets are very difficult to work around.
  3. People are mostly illogical when it comes to their role models/mentors. Those ones can hardly be wrong.

Damn! It’s so hard to convince a self-declared reasoning fellow of new ideas especially If he doesn’t think you could know better than he does.

I think you should be the kind of person that has a mind that is not swayed by just anything though. At the same time however, I think it is important to have a teachable spirit, and a mind that questions.

Shall we try not to always believe our ideas are superior to that of others for absolutely no reason? Shall we not call them foolish/ignorant while trying to make them see things our way? Shall we try to imagine a walk in their shoes before having definitive ideas of what/who they are? Shall we?

I hope we shall. And on that note, I wish you a productive week ahead. 🙂

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