Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"To learn Christ, this is life!"

I read the last page of Stepping Heavenward over the weekend, and I have yet to narrow my thoughts down to a concise recollection of why this book is now on my list of favorites. However, I seem incapable of further prolonging an entry dedicated to this particular novel. The little paperback is currently sitting atop a new journal at my bedside. My approach and purpose for writing, for filling those empty pages, has been renewed by reading Elizabeth Prentiss' dear little novel. A novel! The journal entries penned by "Katy" seemed so true to life, I oftentimes felt I was reading the confessions and insights of a very near and dear friend. Not only was I moved to tears in reading of conversion, sweet moments of the Lord's presence during the darkest of hours, the patience and sanctification lived out between husband and wife, but I was also offended. I was offended by some of "Katy's" thoughts and attitude toward individuals and events in her life. And just when my jaw would drop at such candid outbursts, I was immediately brought to humility at the reality that these particular journal entries were the very ones with which I can most often resonate. Because of this, I was moved as I read of "Katy" questioning the Lord's hand only to later see that He was working in every detail of those events which brought her to her knees. All this to say, I was moved by this little book in ways I have rarely, if ever, experienced.

  • “You would not speak so kindly if you knew what a dreadful creature I am. I am angry with myself, and angry with everybody, and angry with God. I can’t be good two minutes at a time. I do everything I do not want to do, and do nothing I try and pray to do. Everybody plagues me and tempts me. And God does not answer any of my prayers, and I am just desperate.” p.38 ("Katy" in her youth)

  • "'You may be sure of it,' he said solemnly. 'I, His minister, bring the gospel to you today. Go home and say over and over to yourself, I am a wayward foolish child. But he loves me! I have disobeyed and grieved Him ten thousand times over. But He loves me! I have lost faith in some of my dearest friends and am very desolate. But He loves me!’ I came away, and all the way home I fought this battle with myself, saying, 'He loves me!' I knelt down to pray, and all my wasted, childish, wicked life came and stared me in the face. I looked at it and said with tears of joy, 'But He loves me!' Never in my life did I feel so rested, so quieted, so sorrowful, and yet so satisfied.” p. 38-39 (conversation between "Katy" and "Dr. Cabot")

  • "'And I am so astonished that we are restless under His unerring hand! Think how He has dealt with me. My soul was sick unto death, sick with worldliness, and self-pleasing and folly. There was only one way of making me listen to reason, and that was just the way He took. He snatched me right out of the world and shut me up in one room, crippled, helpless, and alone, and set me to thinking, thinking, thinking till I saw the emptiness and shallowness of all in which I had hitherto been involved'...I was glad to be alone, to walk my room singing praises to him for every instance in which, as my Physician, He had disappointed my hope and defeated my joy, and given me to drink of the cup of sorrow and bereavement." p. 244-45 (conversation between "Katy" and "Helen")

  • “Mother says we ought to study God’s providence more than we do, since He has a meaning and a purpose in everything He does. Sometimes I can do this and find it a source of great happiness. Then worldly cares seem mere worldly cares, and I forget that His wise, kind hand is in every one of them.”p. 216


Laura said...

hey, you can email me at sojourn@sojournchurch.com or call me tomorrow at work: 635.7053


ColoradoDreaming said...

The book sounds very interesting. I may have to check that out when I am finished reading Sunrise. I don't get to read too much but I still LOVE to read. Someday I will have more time to read again. For now, I enjoy what God allows.

Panda-Mom said...

Hi GEEEEEEEK! Just tagged you for a meme and I want to see your answers soooooon! ; )