Monday, October 21, 2013

REVIEW: Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz

Title: Wounded by God's People
Author: Anne Graham Lotz
Publisher: Zondervan
Published Date: September 3, 2013
ISBN: 9780310262893
Buy It Link: Kindle | Hardcover
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: Tucked into Abraham's biography is the story of Hagar, a young Egyptian slave with whom Abraham had a son named Ishmael. Hagar stood out because she was wounded---not physically, but in ways that were as emotionally and spiritually painful as any injury to a body would be. Some wounds were provoked by her own bad behavior, but others were inflicted by those who considered themselves God's people. Anne Graham Lotz too has been wounded by God's people. Some wounds have been deeper than others, some have come out of nowhere, and still others have been provoked by her own behavior, but all of the wounds have been deeply painful. They seemed to hurt even more when the wounders wrapped their behavior in a semblance of religion or piety. As Hagar's story unfolds, you will discover that wounded people often become wounders themselves. While Anne identifies with the wounded, the unpleasant reality is that she also identifies with the wounders, because she has been one, too. She knows from experience that wounding is a cycle that needs to be broken. And by God's grace, it can be. Many have had similar experiences. And perhaps you are among those who have been so deeply hurt that you have confused God's imperfect people with God. Maybe you have even run away from God as a result. Or perhaps you have been a wounder to the extent that you are living in a self-imposed exile, believing you are unworthy to be restored to a warm, loving relationship with God or with God's people. Whatever your hurts may be, Wounded by God's People helps you to begin a healing journey---one that enables you to reclaim the joy of God's presence and all the blessings God has for you. God loves the wounded. And the wounders.

Review: I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For a long time, I've been avoiding this book simply for the fact of the author's parentage. I grew up in a house where my mother was Southern Baptist and would religiously watch Jimmy Stewart and Billy Graham. The screaming, the crying, the dramatic outbursts and hellfire and brimstone were not my cup of tea. I liked the quiet and serenity of the Catholic masses that my father would bring me to. I didn't want to read more hellfire and brimstone and drama. I was also avoiding the book because I was afraid it wouldn't "rip the Band-aid off", but rip a tourniquet out of place and I would bleed out spiritually.
At the same time though, I've been hurt by "God's people", hurt very deeply, and I was drawn by the hope that whatever words were within these covers could help me get past the bone-deep hurt that has haunted me for the past twenty years and destroyed my relationship with God.
Some of the book, especially the commentary on Hagar and Ishmael's lives, was especially wonderful. That was definitely the part I enjoyed the most. Then there were some of her own personal stories that I couldn't really relate to, so they really didn't help.
Fortunately, the book wasn't so emotional that no band-aid or tourniquet was ripped out of place, but a gentle airing that allowed me to have some breathing room on my own experience with "God's people".

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