Friday, December 5, 2008

Finding Home -- Book Review

Among the publications I read to broaden my knowledge of spiritual things is literature from Focus on the Family. A few years ago the organization's president, James Dobson, stepped down in order to give his attention more fully to other ministries. Jim Daly was chosen as his successor.

A few days ago I turned the page of one of their magazines to see a picture of Jim’s family, and my eyes began to fill with tears. A result of reading his book Finding Home: An Imperfect Path to Faith and Family. Knowing all that this man suffered and seeing the immense joy on his face surrounded by loved ones, especially the protective embrace around his two little boys . . . One of the things he most wanted growing up was a father figure to look up to, one that would love and support him. Now, he is giving to his sons what he missed out on.

Finding Home is a straightforward summary of Jim’s troubled childhood and his journey to Christ. Most of the book lays out the details of his life in plain, easy to understand language. It is neither poetic nor spiritually profound, but it is sincere and touching. I think this would be an excellent way of introducing sinners to Jesus. They will not get bogged down by deep spiritual truths, and it is a quick read that could be finished in an evening. I am thinking of inmates, drug addicts in recovery, perhaps even new baby Christians. A nice book to leave in the guest room or someplace where it can be easily seen and accessed by people who are not completely open to reading overtly religious literature.

Most of the spiritual content is concentrated in the final chapter where Jim briefly reflects on lessons he has learned. I will conclude with a quote from there on suffering:

    Sometimes I wonder whether we make a mistake when we try to save others or ourselves from experiencing brokenness – as if having a broken spirit was like having the plague. Our culture is bent on experiencing “happiness” and being “pain-free” no matter what the cost. In fact, if the truth were known, billions of dollars are spent annually medicating pain in our society.

    Certainly it’s tempting to mask our pain – whether physical, relational, emotional, or spiritual – through distractions: entertainment, work, or sports. Pain hurts, and who wants that? Yet, in spite of our best efforts to avoid brokenness, for many people, it seems to be a prerequisite for
    coming to a relationship with God. I know that was the case for me.

    What’s more, the purpose of pain is often to develop our character, yet we run from it because pain is the gift that nobody wants. I believe that we rarely understand or perhaps overlook the benefits that pain can bring, not the least of which are the qualities of patience, obedience, and
    dependence on God.


lauralavon said...

This is such good truth, Farrah. I so agree. Thank you for posting it.

nitewrit said...

Sometimes you need pain to tell you that you need a cure.

Larry E.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I am reading one by Focus on the Family about "Losing Control and Loving It" on how to let go of your teenager.
It is very hard to start cutting the strings!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good read. Good job on the review!

So glad you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving. The table was beautiful!