Young men and women who have fallen away and then rediscovered the love of Christ speak of God's forgiveness and healing abilities in these stories of modern-day prodigals. Some follow a path much like Jesus' parable, turning their backs on family and faith in exchange for money and power. Some slip into a more subtle slide away from faith, allowing doubt or apathy to pull them away from who they are. Some make huge mistakes and are forced to pay painful penalties.
Yet each story has the positive ending of a life saved by Jesus Christ. Each story offers hope of renewal and restoration. Written for all those who fear that God can't or won't forgive them for what they did, LOVED is a book of hope.
:)| Posted May 18, 2010
Forgiveness. Unconditional love. They seem like empty words to a confused girl who can’t wrap
her mind around them, whose only experiences with love and repentance have made her so bitter
and hardened that when the real thing comes along, she can’t or won’t recognize it for what it is.
The women profiled in Loved all struggled with major issues in their lives that lead them away from
God. Some still do. But the underlying message in all of these stories is that God is ready and
willing to meet us where we are and make us new.
If we’d only ask.
In each section (“Identity Crisis”, “Addictions”, “Family Problems”, “Friends”, “Man Trouble”, and
“Faith Crises”), a story about a woman from the Bible facing a tough situation is shared. There is
some artistic license taken in Rebecca’s re-tellings, as she fleshes out each tale with descriptive
imagery and glimpses at what might have been running through their minds. However, it only
serves to add to the impact of the modern-day stories that follow. There really is “nothing new
under the sun”; these women have been there before. Furthermore, it encourages readers to keep
the Bible in mind first.
Although Loved is intended to be read as a devotional over a 6-week period, there are no discussion
questions at the end of each section, or suggested Bible verses to look up. I can only speculate that
Rebecca wants Loved to be more of a personal seeking study than an author-lead journey. I’m the
kind of person who would flip through a 365 day calendar just to read all the jokes in one sitting, so
I didn’t mind going through it faster than recommended.
Loved is compelling, candid, and relevant. I had moments where I would stop reading after a story,
sit for a while, and then pick up the book again. That’s what prodigal stories have in common with
snowflakes; no two are exactly alike, yet they’re all beautiful in their own way.
All the women whose stories are recounted have had their names changed to protect the redeemed.
But their names don’t really matter. It could be your sister’s story. Or your best friend’s. Or even
yours. What does matter is that Christ has shown each of these women the love and forgiveness
they craved so much.