Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Havah--A Book Review
I've never posted a book review on this blog. I don't like reading them, so I don't write them. But the book I am about to plug stirred up so much in me, I feel compelled to bring it to your attention.
The book is Havah: The Story of Eve. Its author, Tosca Lee (a woman who lives in Lincoln), has done a marvelous job of weaving story with spiritual truth. Her depiction of the beauty of Paradise makes one wish to be there. Imagine living in a perfect world, void of evil and conflict, in perfect unity with your spouse, all of creation living in harmony. Her presentation of Eden makes the Fall all the more tragic, causing me to feel their loss, and ours, for the remainder of the book.
I gained a new appreciation for how Adam and Eve's mistake affected marriages for all time. Before the fateful bite, Adam adores his mate, seeks solace in her, enjoys and drinks her in. Afterward, he is distant, always working, brooding, distrustful, unwilling to own up to his own mistakes. She resents his blame, his long hours away from her, his attraction to other women and yearns for healing in their relationship. It made me think our sin not only separates us from God, but also from the marriage relationship God intends for us. How can we represent our Holy God as one, carrying around the ill feelings brought on by our sinfulness?
Twice while reading this book I was so moved I had to get alone with God for a while. It forced me to face questions like,
Why do You feel distant, God?
Why do You punish us with life here on earth?
Why does there have to be so much suffering, so much pain?
Why does life have to be so hard?
What have I done to hamper my children's destinies?
What if You don't find my sacrifice acceptable?
Why do You delay, God, when I call to You?
Often the characters seek after God, longing for a glimpse of Him, a whisper of His presence, a shiver of His touch. They grow despondent thinking God has forgotten them. They are never quite satisfied with life as they know it. They feel they are missing something. Sound familiar? It brought to light the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:11, He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
It is a beautiful book, one I have thought on often since finishing it, one with an important message. I had the chance to meet Ms. Lee at a book signing in December. She signed my copy, "I wrote this with you in mind." When handing it back to me she explained. "I know I didn't know you when I wrote this book, but I wrote this for every woman." As I read through her novel, the truth of her inscription was evident. Havah is every woman, with the same emotions and struggles and yearnings (although she seems to have a much better body image than most of us). While at times it was difficult to read because it hit too close to home, letting myself feel it and ponder over it was therapeutic. Persevering through the tough stuff was well worth it. In the end, as Adam dies, Havah gains an understanding into the suffering she has endured, something we can hold on to as daughters of Eve. If we can't be united with God as in Eden, He gives us the gift of wanting to be, causing us to look harder for Him, to know a better life exists in the next realm.
I walked away with a greater sense of the mystery and supremacy of God, and tremendous gratefulness for the gift of the Holy Spirit, God's presence with us always that Eve did not experience.
If you only read one book this year, read Havah. It will touch your soul.