About 20 hours ago, I laid in the dark, wondering what goodness could come out of my immediate state. In the expanded passage that Reinhold Niebuhr penned from whence the “Prayer of Serenity” originates, he petitions God to help him “find hardships as a pathway to peace.” I’m stuck in bed for the next day, though I want to be up, feeling better, and attending to all sorts of important and sundry things. I found it much easier to connect with hardship than with peace. Uncomfortable as well, I can’t even find my attention span in order to figure out where that pathway might be!
In the mail today, I received a proof copy of Meg Moseley’s new book, “When Sparrows Fall.” It’s due for release on May 3, 2011 from WaterBrook Multnomah. This novel tackles the spiritual abuse experience through the eyes of a widowed homeschooling mom of six on her way to reclaiming “freedom, safety, and love ~ for herself and for her children.” The cause of my temporary sedentary status comes as a blessing in disguise just a few hours after my sad lament, and my pathway suddenly seems far more clear. I have a chance to read the book! It is my hope and prayer that this book will prove to be a great instrument of help and healing on the pathway to peace for the many others who will read it in days to come. Though I appreciate all of the important work that has emerged on this subject, I’m especially excited that another resource from a devoted Christian with some twenty years of personal experience in homeschooling will soon be available.
I’m curious and perhaps excited to see what will happen with my new relationship with “When Sparrows Fall” between now and an appointment I have tomorrow afternoon. ( I suspect that I will magically find my lost attentiveness hidden within it tonight.) While reading only the first ten pages, I stopped to read three short quotes to my husband. (Naturally, he followed with sarcastic eye rolls and sardonic comments such as, “Well, I’m glad we’ve never heard anything like that before!”) By page ten, I think I’d had about 25 flashbacks to things that were said to me in my own spiritually abusive past, and I’ve found two phrases that I’ve used as either titles or subtitles in my own blog posts. [I’ve learned that common phrasing is quite a common thing. Stated another way, the late Dr. Paul Martin said that though the sheep’s clothing that wolves wear changes, the way that they attack their prey and the wounds that they leave do not vary. The works of the flesh always look like the works of the flesh, especially the tactics that are dependent on language.]
Still, I’m amazed at how much spiritually abusive vernacular Meg has artfully encapsulated within her book’s first few pages. I find most books in the Christian fiction genre “force” too much of the jargon into the narrative, even when I am intimately familiar with the subject matter, situations, and language. (That is to say, I don’t believe that the lacking spontaneity comes from lack of experience on my part but from a writer that lacks the necessary skill of translating their ideas into something very readable.) I found the first few pages of “When Sparrows Fall” to be refreshingly different, as though the words were pulled directly from countless conversations that I’ve had or witnessed or suffered myself. Understanding that Meg and I share some similar experiences with similar groups and individuals, that may account for the intense sense of familiarity her writing evokes for me. I’m curious to discover whether people from other types of spiritually abusive backgrounds find it as equally perspicacious, especially as the plot unfolds.
Since my attention span does seem to be hidden where I left them on page 15 of Meg’s book, I’m going to get back to reading, holding down the bed so that the cat who patiently waits can use me as her bed for the evening.
More to come about this exciting first of it’s kind -- a novel about the experience of spiritual abuse which has been woven into too many sectors of Christian homeschooling.
Visit Meg at www.megmoseley.com and on Meg Moseley’s Blog. Or better yet, unless you’ve got a frequent flyer card with Family Christian Bookstores, Mardel, or Books-A-Million and want to wait to purchase your copy there, go pre-order the book from Amazon.com. You can look her up on Facebook, too!