Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review: Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

This is gonna be a longer one than what I usually do.

There are two stories in the Bible that never fail in making me cry.

The first is when Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times.

The second is the one about the bleeding woman. For whatever reason it has always felt personal to me.

In the author's note at the end of the book she mentions two particular points about the bleeding woman, for which I am eternally grateful, as it gave me more food for thought.

1) The first is this is the only time that Jesus addresses a woman as daughter. She brings a good point in that Jesus selected "each term with profound intention". Does that give you shivers? It gives me shivers. This means He used the word with discerning purpose - it must have been something she desperately needed to hear from our loving Savior.

2) The second is that 3 of the 4 gospels tell this story. It is an important one. It was important enough for Jesus to delay saving the life of a very sick little girl. He stopped everyone. He paused an urgent errand. He turned around to seek out the woman who thought she was not significant enough to approach Him personally and ask for healing, but quietly and unassumingly touched the fringe of His robe for His healing power.

I think that is what I always got from the story. He personally sought her out. He asked for her. He went to her. He claimed her. There is nothing more beautiful about God than that, for me. Being claimed by someone gives you the ultimate feeling of love.

As I earlier noted there are zero things known about the woman other than "the issue of blood", so this is a fictionalized account of her story. This does not make it less worthy of a read. The author did her research, she took an educated guess, and wove with words a beautiful, moving narrative that hones in on hurt, forgiveness, and the love of God.

The characters become your good friends by the end of the novel as you have been with them since childhood. The descriptions of Biblical times and places, being able to "view" living with Roman control of their lands, all brings together an atmosphere that pulls you in making you feel as if you are there seeing everything play out.

I plan on revisiting this book. I also plan on looking at the authors other works as this was my first read by her.

Tyndale House Publishers has given me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.  

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