Friday, October 26, 2007

Lifting Our Eyes

Full Title: Lifting Our Eyes: Finding God’s Grace Through The Virginia Tech Tragedy: The Laura McCain Story
Type: Biography/Inspirational
Author: Beth J. Lueders
Shepnerd Rating: 5 Stars

I read this book because it was recommended to me by a source I trust, and I’m really glad it was. I would have probably walked right past it at the bookstore because I don’t often like books written purely to inspire. It would have been my loss to have done so.

Using the story and journals of VT freshman Lauren McCain, whose love for Christ emanates from her like a sweet fragrance, combined with other witness testimony including Lauren's Campus Crusade group and police accounts, Lueders explores the events of the Virginia Tech tragedy and tackles tough issues like God’s presence in tragedy and whether forgiveness is necessary and possible.

This is not the first tragedy where someone has asked “Where was God?” or suggested vengeance and blame were more probable reactions than forgiveness. The book covers well the accuracy of understanding God is with us even in the midst of the fallout from the evil humans choose to enact. As for forgiveness, it examples and guides a truth I have learned to live long ago and wish more people knew – with Jesus Christ in your life, true forgiveness is possible and life can go forward. Lauren's parents even find answers to prayer in the midst of losing their daughter. Their faith is powerful, and life changing.

The best parts of the book are taken from Lauren’s journals, her myspace page, and statements from friends and family which show Lauren not as a victim of violence, but a victorious inheritor of Heaven. The book gives you permission to grieve, and power to know what a difference God really does make when the relationship is real.

It’s a fast read (took me 6 hours), and you won’t want to put it down. Her writings took me back to a college journal I wrote years ago when I expressed my enthusiastic love for Jesus every time pen hit page. I realized when I was reading this book how lucky I am to have found that love, how faithful Jesus has been to keep the relationship vibrant, and how very blessed I am to be writing about Christ’s love again. On a rainy October night, it was so good to be reminded.

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