At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. Job 14:7-9 (NIV)
I guess I lied about not reading much these days, because here is another book review. While I was gathering groceries to take dinner to a family in our church with a pregnant mom on bed rest, I decided to buy her a book to read while she lays there fretting over all she should be doing. I remembered the weeks I spent in bed with my broken neck and how frustrating it was to know the world still marched on while I was out of step. I found a book for her, and as I started to leave, spotted another one with a cover design of a pretty little girl whose auburn braids and pink flowered dress flowed around her as she spun. Linda Nichols set the book called At the Scent of Water in the mountains around Asheville, North Carolina and some of her characters are weavers raising sheep. From the first paragraph read while still standing in Sam’s, I was drawn to the crisp writing and vivid phrases like these: “Perhaps these stories were not lovely, but they were true, and she wove them in the same way she had once woven tapestries, stretching the warp of truth tight so the pattern could emerge upon it,” “He and the Almighty had been at war for many years now. Five, to be exact, and there was no enmity so bitter as that between those who had once been intimate friends,” and “Oaks leaned over the roads, and pines stayed just a step behind them, already lush, wild, almost meeting in the middle, anxious to take back their land. Turn your back on things, and they reverted to wildness. Take your eyes away for a second, and all traces where you had been would be gone.” I was hooked, so, I bought another book. I held off reading it for two days, but one night this week, I couldn’t sleep and that was all the incentive I needed to curl up in a chair and start reading until I had stayed up almost all night to reach the end of a happily ever after story with a surprising twist in the very last three pages. I won’t give much of the story away, only to say that it is about a married couple, Christians and faithful to their church and to God, whose lives and marriage are torn apart by a tragedy that causes them to question Who God is and why He works as He does. It got me to thinking how no matter how bleak the circumstances, no matter how the weight of a tragedy might fall upon us, we still have a choice. To believe, or not to believe that God is in control, all powerful and working everything, even our grief for our good. I don’t know how I would react were I the character in this story, perhaps in a similar way, but At the Scent of Water, gave me much to contemplate.