Sunday, May 28, 2017
Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke
Redefining Hope, Beauty, and Faith in the Hardest Places
This is a good book. I'm not sure what adjectives to use to describe it. Let me start by saying that I find the back cover synopsis of the book doesn't do it justice. It sounds like it will by Lynne's own journey through cancer, when in reality, while that was a very real part of the story, to me the most talked about story was her own parent's journey through cancer. While it didn't affect the beauty of the book, for me it wasn't quite what I was expecting.
But moving on, there 28 chapters in the book. They are fairly short, but I think each chapter contained some nugget of gold that needs to be pondered and considered. I will also say that Lynne and her family have to be more in shape physically than I can ever hope to be. Granted, that's not saying much for this stage of my life where walking is rather limited for me. However, it seems like a lot of the chapters talked about a hiking trip they had taken into the desert or up the mountains, even in and out of the Grand Canyon. Truly the chapter title, "Under a Desert Sky" is very fitting. Lynne does well to capture on page the beauty of the desert. It makes me want to go see it for myself and even try a bit of amateur hiking.
And now, like I often do, I want to show you a few of those nuggets with you. They might be out of context and a little hard to understand, but hopefully it will make you want to get the book and read it for yourself.
From the preface: "I fix my eyes on her face, for I have learned that sometimes the greatest act of compassion we offer the dying is not to look away."
From Chapter Six: "Love is in the details. Love is found in the bending over. The stooping low. The care shown for the small things."
From Chapter Eleven: "We are in the waiting, when it can be difficult to hold on to promises. To hold on to hope. Every day clouds mushroom the skies, but we are left standing in the dust.....I pick up that anchor, that hope. I throw it out, toward the sound of rain. It is not a hope resting in doctors, in treatment plans, or in the number of days. It is hope based on Someone who stood with those He loved at the edge of a grave and faced death."
From Chapter Twenty Three: "Kindness can lead people to gaze once again into the face of God......Sometimes the desire to do a great thing (fix the entire problem), keeps us from doing a good thing (be kind in a small way)."
I really liked this book and should really take the time sometime to just ponder it more slowly and let some of these truth seep into my soul. I think Lynne talks somewhere about treasuring the moments, which is something I have been trying to do more lately as well.
This book is for more than those battling the fight with cancer. It is for anyone who is struggling in the desert, with dark days, trying times, anything. I think there is something to be learned here.
I received this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review.
at May 28, 2017
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