15 October 2013

Add This to Your Reading Queue

Who can enjoy the lovely land, who can enjoy the seventy years, and the sun that pours down on the earth, when there is fear in the heart?

- Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

Everyone should read this book. Have you read it?

It is such a moving book about a pastor in South Africa who goes to search for his son, who he hasn't heard from in over a year, only to find him in a serious situation. I won't give away any details so you can go read it for yourself. The lengths the father goes to to save his son is deeply moving.

The first portion of the book is the father leaving his tiny town of Ndotsheni searching for his son in the big city of Johannesburg, where he goes place to place, using up all his savings to find his son. We feel the reminder quickly that there is much in this world that we cannot control, including ones own children, and it takes great heart and courage to keep going. But goodness will come. Along the way he finds kindness and generosity, for that is the secret that keeps us going.

Kumalo looked at him under the light of the lamp. I believe, he said, but I have learned that it is a secret. Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering.

The way the story unfolds with the reader finding out who else is involved and how they are all connected brings even more darkness to the story, and yet because of this situation and who is involved, light and goodness is able to spring forth. And of course there is the black and white issues, customs, and politics, which comes into play. But beneath it all, there is the humanity. The sense that we are all the same and it doesn't matter whether we are a rich white family or a poor black family. We can all love one another, even when deeply wounded and hurting.

This book shows that in a beautiful way. Beautiful language. I think every person should read this book.

There is a new thing happening here, he said. It is not only these rains, though they refresh the spirit. There is hope there, such as I have never seen before.

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