26 January, 2008

Stepping Heavenward

I have an hour to call my own, and so many things to do. Well, at least one of those things is writing a little bit here, so let me make a start at that anyway. :-)

Tari recommended to me, Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss.

I was prepared to say something nice to her about it after I'd read it. I was not prepared to be utterly floored by it, and reduced to tears countless times. I don't believe there's a single book of doctrine or Christian experience on any of my shelves that could not be profitably replaced by this thin little story of Katherine Mortimer. Every element of life and of Christian life is captured in little Katherine's journal. Every tear, joy and disappointment rang true for me, and most of all her constant disappointment with herself.

There are so many levels at which I recommend Mrs Prentiss' book (here or here or elsewhere. The version I read was unabridged, but with a bazillion typos.) to you - now. First, it warmed my heart to read a real Puritan's advice on life. The Puritans receive such a horrific rap in our culture. They were beautiful people with a joyful, vibrant love for Christ Himself. Mrs. Prentiss writes with all the beauty and passion of these dear Christians. Second, every pain the young Miss Mortimer experiences on up through the end of the book is so intense and real. I know those pains. I know those mistakes. I envied her the joys of having escaped some of the pits that swallowed me, and joined her in rejoicing at the salvation of the Lord that came to us both. Third, you have questions about the Christian life. You do. You will find all of them asked and lived through in this book. You won't find answers, but you'll find someone who went there with you and with Him.

Seriously, there should not be a Christian of any age who has not read this book, and read it recently. I will be buying handfuls and giving them away.

May the Lord bless you by it.


tari said...

Thanks for this review, codepoke. Obviously, I loved this book. And I was quite surprised reading most of the reviews on the net referring to this being a great book for adolescent females to read...sort of implying that it was a "chick book". :) So your thoughts really backed up my thoughts that it speaks to all Christians in very powerful, personal ways.

One of the ways this book touched me most was the way it dealt with the loss of loved ones. As a mother, I knew what I was reading was absolutely right, but a part of me still wanted to rebel at the the lessons taught here. Surrendering your child to God's will and care is something I truly needed to read about at the time, and in my opinion, this book was perfection in that regard.

codepoke said...

Thanks for the review? Thanks for pointing me in such a profitable direction! I owe you big time!

Yes, Mrs. Prentiss sets the bar both higher and somehow more attainably than anyone I've read in a long, long time. May the love she learned be born in me.

Missy said...

I had a little spare moola on a Amazon gift card and ordered this t'other day. I'm looking forward to reading it!

codepoke said...

Great Missy! I couldn't be happier! I hope you enjoy it (I know it will bless you.)

Missy said...

Kev - I bought this shortly after your recommendation and it's been on a shelf until now. I grabbed it on my way out of town Wednesday evening for something to read on the plane.

I was so grateful for every delay and opportunity to keep reading this. I cannot tell you whether it was in the telling or in the message, but I could not put it down. Reading this was like finding a godly parent to imitate, a reassurance and encouragement, and I truly believe it a beautiful witness. Thank you so much for this recommendation. I can't wait to read it again, and give away as many copies as I can.

Your sis,

codepoke said...

That makes me so HAPPY, Missy. :-)

"Like a godly parent."

Amen. Many happy returns. :-)