Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Memory Between Us

Memory Between Us, A: A Novel (Wings of Glory)I always find a great deal of comfort in the Psalms. I believe that there is something written in them for every human emotion, and they are still wonderfully relevant today. I recently discovered that there is even more power in them when you become familiar with the stories that inspired them. A few nights ago I was reading Psalm 62, and the opening words deeply touched my heart:
I wait quietly before God,
      for my victory comes from him.
 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
      my fortress where I will never be shaken.

 I was so taken by the idea of waiting patiently for my victory, I read them twice before I could move on. Then my eyes were drawn to the introduction to the Psalm that name the author, David, and what inspired its writing, his betrayal by Absalom. With that knowledge, the opening words took on a deeper meaning.

Absalom was David's eldest son and was considered a beautiful man. Many years before, he killed his brother, Amnon, for raping their sister Tamar. David was a terrific man of God, and a wonderful king (most of the time), but he clearly failed in his parenting. Absalom was banished for Amnon's murder for a time, then David's general Joab encouraged David to bring him back home. When Absalom returned, he spent his time at the city gate greeting everyone who entered Jerusalem and dealing with any issues that needed a judge. Over time, he seduced many of the people away from following David and eventually announced that he was the new king. David and his household was forced to flee for their lives across the Jordan river. On the journey, David was attacked by one of Saul's family (the former king), and faced yet another betrayal by the son of his best friend. Once away from Absalom he began forming an army, but when it came time for battle, his men told him to stay home, away from the fighting, because if he died, the fighting was over.

So David, the king best known for making his kingdom safe from the Philistines, who had secured every corner of the land in war, now had to sit back and wait. He wasn't directing the battle; he had no control over the outcome. He sat at the city gates awaiting news and wrote this Psalm.

1 I wait quietly before God,
      for my victory comes from him.
 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
      my fortress where I will never be shaken.

 3 So many enemies against one man—
      all of them trying to kill me.
   To them I’m just a broken-down wall
      or a tottering fence.
 4 They plan to topple me from my high position.
      They delight in telling lies about me.
   They praise me to my face
      but curse me in their hearts.
 5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
      for my hope is in him.
 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
      my fortress where I will not be shaken.
 7 My victory and honor come from God alone.
      He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
 8 O my people, trust in him at all times.
      Pour out your heart to him,
      for God is our refuge.
 9 Common people are as worthless as a puff of wind,
      and the powerful are not what they appear to be.
   If you weigh them on the scales,
      together they are lighter than a breath of air.

 10 Don’t make your living by extortion
      or put your hope in stealing.
   And if your wealth increases,
      don’t make it the center of your life.

 11 God has spoken plainly,
      and I have heard it many times:
   Power, O God, belongs to you;
    12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
   Surely you repay all people
      according to what they have done.

You can read the story of David's hurt and fear in every line of the Psalm, but in the end he trusted God to bring him the victory and to repay those who betrayed him. It was well that David trusted the Lord, because every promise was fulfilled. Absalom was killed, to David's dismay, the man who attacked him was confined to the city at the risk of his life, and the son of his best friend hadn't betrayed him but was himself betrayed. David was vindicated in everything because he trusted God.

This Psalm has always inspired me and quieted my soul, but now knowing the impetus behind its creation, I am newly encouraged. If David, King of Israel, could trust the Lord to save his entire kingdom, I can certainly trust God in my lowly daily battles.

A Memory Between Us by Sarah Sundin is the second book in the Wings of Glory series about fighter pilots in World War II. Jack Novak knows he's good at flying planes and leading his squadron of men in England; he's never faced a battle he lost, until he meets Ruth Doherty. Ruth, an army nurse, is well-known for keeping men at arm's length. Her terrible secret wars with her attraction to Jack.She keeps such a wall around her heart that the only friend she has on the base is May. May and Jack's best friend Charlie quickly hit it off, but they are separated by a terrible mistake Jack makes to save his pride. Ruth's need to financially support her younger siblings at home forces her to take a higher paying and higher risk job as a flight nurse, but the worst risk may come from those she is supposed to be working with, rather than Nazi guns. Sundin has written a beautiful and epic love story. Filled with historical detail and plenty of slang, the reader feels transported to WWII. Ruth's secret is terrible and tragic, and the scene when Jack confronts her with it brought tears to my eyes. The story has action, romance, drama, and faith- what more could a reader ask for?

Thank you to LitFuse Publicity for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


Sarah Sundin said...

Christy - thanks for your wonderful review. Epic - I'll have to tell my kids - that's their favorite word. Then they'll snort and remind me I'm a dork :)