Friday, July 2, 2010

Where Has This Book Been All My Life?

Awhile back, I was on my way to the post office across the border to mail a package of earrings to a little girl who just had her ears pierced. But the line was so long that I knew the post office would be closed before I could even make it across, and no one would let me over into the left lane so that I could escape at the last place possible before going into an area where you HAVE to cross. I was frustrated and tried to figure out what in the world I'd tell the border guard. Truth be told, I'd just come from a pretty emotional meeting where I shared the emotional impact I'm dealing with as a result of the malpractice that caused my traumatic birth injury. So I was already near tears. The whole Canadians not letting me over to go back into Canada and try the border another day only made me even more homesick.

The poor border guard asked the innocent question, "Where are you going and what is the purpose of your trip?"

"Lynden. I'm just homesick."

"Oh, you have family in Lynden?"

"No, they are a couple thousand miles away. But I'm just homesick and need to be in America for awhile. I thought I'd go to Lynden to a bookstore."

"Oh. Well, uh, carry on. Hope you have a better day."

So I drove to Lynden, frustrated that all that waiting kept me from mailing that package and that I'd have to wait another week to mail it. But I kept driving, crying and asking God to do something. I was pretty ticked in reality. Missing the States, frustrated with Canada for a variety of reasons (I do love it most days), I just needed something, anything to encourage me and bring some joy.

For some reason, I wandered down the audio aisle at the bookstore and noticed an audio book called the Heart Mender. I read the back and was intrigued, but put it down since I never have a chance to listen long enough to a book. Besides, I'd decided to buy a cd of music that would speak to me. So I went to the cds and picked out two, trying to decide which one would be the best pick-me-up possible. Then the bargain books caught my eye, but there was nothing there. But over in the corner where the "A's" begin in the fiction section I saw Heart Mender by Andy Andrews. I decided to splurge and took it home.

It wasn't until this past Wednesday that I even had a chance to pick it up. I read the first four chapters during some rare alone time, and was totally hooked. After putting Grasshopper to bed, I couldn't help myself. I picked it up and before I knew it, it was almost 2 in the morning and I was finished with one of the most amazing books I've ever read. For me, it was the perfect book. For it softened my heart and made me open to the possibility of forgiving the midwife and OB who are responsible for altering my health permanently. As I lay there contemplating all the profound messages in this book, I realized some pretty deep things about my own situation. And somewhere inside, the hard shell I've been building these past 18 months got a crack in it. I'm not saying that I don't still have moments (like now) when I'd happily watch those two medical practitioners get a taste of their own medicine, but the Heart Mender opened my eyes to how it may one day be possible to look back and say that I have indeed forgiven them and found freedom from all the anger and hurt that currently weighs be down.

If you like stories that are basically true; if you like stories that build your anticipation and make you laugh and cry and come out a better person, this book is the one for you. I love it. Go read it. The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews. Lord bless that man for seeing a story in a rusty vegetable can. Incredible.

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