12 January 2012

Book, recommended: Weak and Loved

Once I met a girl on the internet named Emily, and I liked her. She was the kind of mom I wanted to be, which is to say, one with a good and thankful heart. That would have been enough, but it happened that she was also writing a book, so I couldn't not pester her because I think people who write books are just so cool. So I pestered her and that good heart of hers did its work: she let me read her book.

The story Emily tells is the one we're all afraid of: Mom meets girl, Mom loves girl, Mom finds out she might really lose girl, Mom lies awake at night listening for girl's breathing. But this mom's words and insights are smoothed and deepened by a grace you don't find in women's magazines and junk devotionals and pop-Christian bestsellers by pop-Christians. The grace is no accident or rhetorical device. It is real, because Emily is a person who understands grace. She does not seek to inspire with this book that would almost certainly be pigeonholed as "inspirational" by the book pigeonholers, whoever they are. She wants to tell the truth.

The truth is that there is no such thing as a "fighter" or a "survivor." There are only mortals, and an omnipotent God of love and wisdom on whose mercy they can throw themselves. The truth is that bad things happen to sweet little girls because sweet little girls are sinners. The truth is that mothers are forced to live with terrors not of their imagining, but of lethally diseased flesh. The truth is that young children have to learn about sickness and the shadow of death the hard way: at home, on the playground, in their bedrooms.

Emily, unlike any other Christian mom-author I've ever read, finds comfort in precise places: her daughter's baptism, her own baptism, the real promises of God rather than fake general ones people made up, salvation in Christ even if there is no happy ending in this life. There is no blather about God's perfect plan or the blessings of watching one's child suffer a life-threatening illness (?!). There is only the cross that breaks us, sick baby or not, and the cross that saves us, for we are all sick babies. I was really ready to read a book like that. Buy it or win it? False dichotomy.


Emommy said...

Thanks for this, Rebekah! LOVE hearing about more wonderful books by Christ-centered authors!

lisa said...

Emily/Rebekah, is this book available through Lulu.com?

The title alone makes my head nod.

lisa said...

Umm . . . yeh. So that would be a hyperlink :P

lisa said...

Just finished reading Emily's book. Thank you for writing it, Emily. It's a book I can't help but wanting everyone I love to read.

I also found the Appendix: On Being Loved in the Waiting Room, very helpful (a brief synopsis of what Emily found helpful from family, friends and church family). I know this varies from person to person, but it is good common sense info to file away mentally.