Thursday, July 26, 2007

To Dance in the Desert

I apologize for the break in my blogging. After the switch in medication, I've been tired and achy all the time. I've gotten quite a bit of reading done, but unfortunately no writing. Between an extra kid in the house, a bridal shower to plan and camping next week, I've been overwhelmed and drowning in it. But the Lord threw me a lifeline today, a couple of them actually. The Green Bay Press Gazette featured my blog on the front of their Family section today. I didn't know about it until my mom called to compliment me on the nice picture (the paper version has today's picture as well). Then she offered to take all three kids swimming. So I'm alone in my air-conditioned house for just a little while. My soul is singing.

To Dance in the Desert by Kathleen Popa is the beautiful story of Dara Brogan Murphy as she struggles to recover from the horror of losing her husband and father in one horrible day. She retreats to the desert to hole up and hide from the world. Instead she meets Jane who introduces Dara to a world she never knew. I am completely amazed at the depth and scope of Popa's writing. Her descriptions of the desert let me breathless. The story starts out in short disconnected sentences as Dara hides within herself. As she opens up to Jane, the writing becomes more fluid until by the end when Dara has rediscovered herself, the words fairly flow across the page. The way the words are kept tight at the beginning and then loosen kept me reading and helped give new insight into Dara. So many different themes are touched on in this story: works vs faith, judgment against other forms of worship, abuse, and each one is handled with delicacy and grace. Even the harshest critics of Dara and Jane are viewed through God's loving eyes. I had to struggle to put this book down, because I didn't want to leave the characters or the lovely stark desert setting behind. It's a story with many truths to tell.

A quick update: we've definitely found our church. Molly was moved nearly to tears by the service on Sunday and Doogie said that it was better than our previous church. It's a good place to be.