36 books finished in 2011

36 books finished in 2011
Lament for a Son

I wish I hadn’t needed to read this book. Someone close to me suffered a great loss, and I was incapable of entering into her experience. It was isolating and frustrating and I did some stupid and insensitive things. Thankfully, my roommate, knowing my need to intellectually and emotionally understand and process this experience, and knowing that books can shoot straight to my heart, loaned me her copy of this book.

It’s difficult to read. It’s unflinchingly honest.

Our culture says that men must be strong and that the strength of a man in sorrow is to be seen in his tearless face. Tears are for women. Tears are signs of weakness and women are permitted to be weak. Of course, it is better if they too are strong.

Essentially, it’s excerpts from Nicholas Wolterstorff’s journal as he is recovering from the death of his son.

I tried to jog and could not. It was too life-affirming.

He doesn’t attempt to give answers. He doesn’t attempt to explain anything. He just lays his broken heart on the pages and gives the reader permission to be broken as well.

Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God’s new day, who ache with all their being for that day’s coming and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence.

It was a horrible book to read, but I’m glad I read it.

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