Thursday 3rd March 2011

by Brittany

This week, thanks to a friend of mine, I read the trilogy by Penelope Wilcock called The Hawk and the Dove. Without writing a book report on it—although I may do that later—I’ll briefly say that the book is a collection of stories a mother tells her daughter about their ancestors who lived during the middle ages, two of whom were monks who lived in a monastery. Most of the stories are of the men living in community in the monastery. Now I’ve made it sound like a dull book, but it was just the opposite, and the characters in it were very real people. The Hawk and the Dove contained very honest portrayals of human struggles and suffering, and the questions we face in life. I’m still digesting all I read. But, to get to the quote I wanted to share…

In book two, entitled “The Wounds of God”, Melissa’s mother (she is the one telling the stories in the book) shares with her daughter:

…[W]e can offer no solutions, no easy answers, to other people’s tragedies. We can only be there. It is Jesus they need, not us, and even he offers no answers. He offers himself. It is when people find their way through to him that the pain of their life becomes the pain not of death, but of birth. A thing of hope.

That is so true. So often, there is nothing to say to ease someone’s pain. Simply being there, and loving them like Jesus, and pointing them to Him and to His love and His comfort is enough, and better than trying to say something.

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3 Responses to “The Hawk and the Dove…on loss and tragedy”

  1. I am preparing to lead the women’s group at my church in a study of the three books. I, too, want others to read this book and this was my solution!!
    Thanks for the blog – I am starting my intro in Jan. with your thoughts – with attribution, of course!!

  2. Oh my stars! So fun to find your thoughts on this book! It really is my favorite book but, because the description sounds a little dull, I can never get anyone to read it. The most beautiful portrayal of friendship and I, too, loved that she so consistently pointed to Christ. Wish everyone woul read it!

    • Brittany says:

      Melissa,
      The friend who let me borrow her copy said the same thing—she loves the book, but can hardly get anyone else to read it!

      One of these days I want to take the time to sit down and figure out a way to really convey what it is like so it doesn’t sound boring, and my friends will be more likely to read it. =)

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