The Most Difficult Book I Have Ever Read

Most people know that I do not enjoy reading “tearjerkers.” I avoid romance novels (and math books) for this very reason. Emotionally manipulative books should die a slow death on dusty shelves next to used tissues.  When I saw the cover of this book, I rolled my eyes and thought “Oh there’s another one of those.”  But it wasn’t one of “those.”  Look beyond the cover.  This book has teeth.

Forgiven by Terri Roberts did make me cry. On almost every page.  However, I was not crying from manipulation, I was crying because of the beauty that grew from this tragedy. The author of Forgiven is the mother of a man who shot little girls in an Amish school house.  She leads the reader through a storm of horror, loss, and forgiveness. The Amish community effected by Charlie Roberts chose to forgive. Of course, it was a difficult choice to make. To most of us it was a surprise. This community did not just say, “Okay, I forgive you” and walk away. They protected and provided for the killer’s family. This absolution healed Pennsylvania families and carried an incredible message to other victims of violence around the world. That is real forgiveness.  We all need a lesson in what real forgiveness is and the healing power that it brings.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.


Yes! It’s Possible!

Possible- A Blueprint for Changing How we Change the World by Stephan Bauman was a pleasant surprise. It is arranged into 3 sections: Recovering our Call, Reframing the Problem, and Remaking the World. The first section’s purpose is to motivate the reader to a renewed desire to be involved on a personal level. The author is effective in making the reader feel the urgency of using our talents NOW without waiting for a specific overture of mission. This first section was necessary but could have been shortened without sacrificing effect.
Parts 2 and 3 were far more interesting. Bauman uses a figurative tree to illustrate the relationship of our values, beliefs, behavior, and results. The reader can practice this exercise on a personal level and then expand its use to a community level.
The author has plenty of experience in his mission to make a difference in the world. He is president and CEO of World Relief. Bauman wants us to stop seeing the poor as victims. We need to see them as people who have the potential to be heroes in the same causes that concern us. It is time to stop the “unhelpful assumptions, hidden paternalism, and subtle arrogance” that plague us. We must work together with those we see as victims in order to make any real change in violent cultures.
It was refreshing to read a book focused on justice that motivates the reader as well as provides step by step help in creating change. Yes, it is POSSIBLE to change the world.
A copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for a review.