Thursday, June 14, 2007

Safely Home


We're halfway through June, and at this time last year I'd made a huge dent in my summer reading. But this year, I've finished only one book so far -- the often recommended title about the persecuted church: Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. My friend Christen has been suggesting I read this book for about a year and a half. I admit, I put it off a little bit because I am not a huge fan of Christian fiction (I know -- that sounds so snobby! I'm sorry!) and also because for whatever reason I could not get it out of my head that this book has nothing whatsoever to do with baseball! Chris, if you are reading this before you go to Brazil, I want to thank you so much for making me borrow it before we parted ways in December. It was really good -- you were right.

I liked Safely Home for two reasons: it contained quite a bit of history -- both of the persecuted church in China and of China itself -- and I liked the C.S. Lewis-like descriptions of heaven and the last things (seriously, did Randy Alcorn finish reading The Last Battle right before he wrote this book?). Learning about Christians in other countries is fascinating to me, and this book was so inspiring as I read about the tremendous faith of these persecuted brothers and sisters. It amazed me that as I read about the brutal treatment of Christians described in the book, I became less afraid of my own personal suffering. In fact, I began to see how we share in Christ's suffering through what we ourselves endure, and thus relate to Him in a more intimate way. The author did a fantastic job of focusing on persecution with a lens that sees through that and into the delights of eternity. It would be easy to write a book about how horrible things were so that American Christians could sympathize, but what a far better goal to write not only how horrible it really is, but also how worth it this light affliction will be in eternity. That is because He Who Holds up the Sky sits with you in the cell, His presence more real than the filth around you.

6 comments:

sara said...

I LOVE R. Alcorn's descriptions of heaven. He has totally changed my thinking about that. I will have to read that C.S. Lewis book.

Morning Rose said...

I have this book on loan from the library, though it's been sitting on my dresser unread. Instead of Safely Home, I've been reading lighter fare such as Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away. I will make an effort to read this one, though, as it sounds like it is really good.

David and Sharon said...

I read this book last summer, thanks to Christen as well. For some reason, I was hesitant to read it, but once I started it, I had no trouble finishing it. We were at camp in Iowa and I was sitting in the lounge area of the speakers' cabin reading this book. There were tears literally falling down my face, although I wasn't audibly crying. Two women walked by, and one of them got right up in my face and said very loudly, "Are you crying? Must be a good book!" I was pretty embarrassed then, but it's kind of funny to me now. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I did too.

James and David said...

David here:
A brief history on the orange paisley looking ring you are wearing in each and every photo would be appreciated.

Emily said...

I've been totally enjoying the reading list that you've given me! It's awesome! I LOVE The Hiding Place. I started sobbing on the part where that guy who she loves marries the other girl...but it opened my eyes to how every believer can be at absolute peace even when something like that happens, and it has almost entirly changed my thinking toward Daniel. I pray all the time that I would love him like God does (that's what Corrie prays)...so yeah, I meant for this to be a short comment, sorry!
-emma

Gretchen said...

Oh, Emma, I know! I was hysterical when I read that. That was the part I wanted us to do in the play, because it was so powerful. You know, the Corrie Ten Boom play we were going to do in church? I still have the script somewhere, but it is very involved.