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Thursday, December 15, 2005

cover of Suffering Without Pretending

This book was written by a woman who knows that life is not easy, and that pain and death are part of life. Somehow, God can be more present in those times than otherwise – and it is a way to know Him more deeply. Townsend talks about God's deep love extending over the entire world, and that because His does, our hearts too should be open to those around us, both near and unknown. If I desire to be more like Jesus, I must share in His suffering – and God suffers with all those who suffer. It is incomprehensible, but true at least on some levels. Townsend quotes C.S. Lewis, who says 'no event has so corroborated my faith in the next world as Williams did by dying. When the idea of death and the idea of Williams thus met in my mind, it was the idea of death that was changed.' She also addresses the idea that from the most broken and dark places comes the brightest light, giving an example of a poor Thai village that lived much in darkness yet produced beautiful tapestries and clothes worthy of royalty. 'Apathy is a luxury in which I dare not indulge' (p72).

Townsend also brings balance to this topic, talking about how love must come from the knowledge of being the Beloved – finding strength in His love to continue loving even though it takes energy. 'No matter what another man does to us we will never, under any circumstances, seek anything but his good' (p84) speaking about agape love. The last chapter is titled 'costly caring', and she addresses the issue of carrying one another's burdens, even in a literal sense sometimes. This is possible, uncomfortable, hard but sometimes a special gift that God gives. This is book which addresses the problem of pain in some day-to-day ways.

Title:Suffering Without Pretending
Author: Anne J. Townsend
Date published:1979
Genre:Christian Autobiography
Number of pages:96
Notes: Borrowed from Jude's office


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