Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Book Review: Wounded By God's People: Discovering How God's Love Heals Our Hearts by Anne Graham Lotz
Once I received and started reading, "Wounded By God's People" by Anne Graham Lotz, my first thought was, "Where was this book a few years ago?!?!". I found myself in several hurtful situations with other Christians and this would have been a perfect resource. Yet, God worked it out all in His timing. I'm grateful this book is here now, though, and I have plans to refer back to it over and over in future years. I also have plans for my sons to both read it in preparing their hearts for the inevitable time of pruning that will come in their lives.
Weaving her own stories of having been hurt and hurting others with the stories of hurt in the Bible (primarily through Hagar's story), Anne does an amazing job of walking alongside the reader during a time when emotions are raw and our natural bend is to retaliate or pick up and leave. Anne points our eyes to our Father in heaven in tough times when we have been hurt by another Christian.
I would love to say that you will never, ever be hurt by other Christians but... I can't. It WILL happen. Unfortunately, lots of times. "Wounded By God's People" puts perspective on where responsibility lies, our response to hurts of others (as well as being confronted with the hurt we've inflicted), and encourages not to walk away from God when other hurt us but lean in hard to the One who has already experienced rejection and hurt on our behalf.
The chapter topics are thorough and Anne doesn't leave the reader hanging or left wondering, "well, my situation is different", because she addresses all possible perspectives. With chapter titles such as -
1. Healing Is a Journey - He was wounded too
2. The Biblical Story of Hagar
3. Loved by a God on the Periphery (God is Not An Elitist)
4. Life is Hard (Everyone is Wounded)
5. The Cycle of Pain (The Wounded Become Wounders)
6. The Believer in Exile (Running from the Wounders)
7. God Cares (You Can't Outrun God)
8. Spiritual Blind Spots (You are Missing the Obvious)
9. Wounding Hurts (Doing the Right Thing Can Be Painful to the Wounder)
10. Rejected By Them (But Not by Him)
11. Wandering in the Wilderness (God Is Still There)
12. The Silence Is Broken (God Is A Prayer-Hearing, Prayer Answering, Miracle Working God)
13. God Stands By (He Hears Our Cry for Help)
14. A Stubborn Spirit (Exile from Him is Self-Imposed)
15. The Turning Point (That Was Then, This Is Now)
16. I Can See! (Your Valley May Be The Place of Vision)
17. Don't Look Back (You Can't Move Forward by Looking in the Rearview Mirror)
18. It's Time To Move On (You Can Be Reconciled)
19. Conclusion: The End of the Healing Journey (It's Time to Come Home)
Be forewarned! Anne doesn't always tell you what you might want to hear but she does tell you what you NEED to hear in times of hurting. She does so in a gentle, close friend kind of way - you know the one that is honest enough to tell you when you are out of line but does it without damaging your friendship?? Anne doesn't cottle the role of victim nor does she brush away the very real hurt that we get stung by from time to time (and she herself has experienced). As she acknowledges, for some reason, Christian wounds tend to heal slowly. Perhaps it is because we feel that "they should know better" or because we feel that a Christians shouldn't eat their own. Logically, I would agree with these thoughts, however, Anne points out that we are all hurting on some level and we are all imperfect. Ultimately, God doesn't promise us a life of ease and friendliness. Life is, indeed, hard, at times. All the more reason to lean into Him.
I believe this is a MUST-READ for all Christians - regardless of your age or stage in life. I plan on keeping this as the amazing salve that it is in times of being wounded. I heartily recommend this book!
DISCLOSURE: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”