Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Book Review of City of Tranquil Light

Over time I have come to believe that God's will is a mystery, fluid and surprising.  Following it is like stepping out into something I cannot see, and I am frequently unsure about whether I am doing God's will until after the fact.  But I have learned that while I don't always know when I'm doing something right, I always know when I'm doing something wrong, and I rely on this as I go forward, trusting that He will use my mistakes as well as my triumphs and knowing that He does not ask me to be perfect, or even good.  He simply asks me to be His, which to me is the the heart of His Good News: that I am deeply and passionately loved exactly as I am, despite the faults that grieve me most, by a God who delights in me more than I can know - a God who created me so He could love me.  With the gift of that renewed certainty when I awake each morning, I rise to meet the day and to praise my dear Lord, and to finish my course with joy.
-- excerpt from City of Tranquil Light, Bo Caldwell

Looking back over my list of books read in 2013, I think it's safe to say that City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell is my favorite book of the year (thus far, of course).  It's a novel that's based on the lives of the author's grandparents who were missionaries to China and Taiwan in the early 1900's.  The story is beautiful and eloquent - full of both tragedy and joy.

Will and Katherine Kiehn are Americans who live in China as missionaries during the first three decades of the 1900's.  This is a story about their marriage, their friends, their enemies and how their faith in God impacts them all.  Written from his perspective, as well as her's, we are given a glimpse into the doubts, fears, hopes and dreams of two people who passionately love their Savior and the people of the land of China.

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