Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Heart-breaker and Heart-healer

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

It isn't often that a book can grab me in the introduction in a grip so tightly I can scarce put it down; but, this one did.  It isn't  often I read a book where every word resonated within me like a bell; but, this one did, clanging loudly and forcefully.  It isn't often a book makes me re-examine my core beliefs and values; but, this one did, leaving me shaking some moments, laughing at others and crying at still more.  It is a book that is oddly hard to put down yet I had to walk away after every chapter to think about it (and grab a few more tissues).  It is a book that stays with you and tickles your conscience; one that keeps you up at night asking yourself questions you don't really want to confront.

This is the story of a young woman named Katie Davis who abandoned her Mid southern upbringing just after graduation from high school to travel across the world and become a modern-day American Mother Theresa.  She spends her days ministering to the sick, feeding the poor and changing the family tree of almost everyone she comes in contact with.  At the tender age of 22, she has adopted 13 young girls and has created a loving home in the face of adversity that most of us cannot even begin to grasp.  Her story is so outrageous that is seemed impossible to me before I started reading.  Page by page, word by word, Katie had me hooked.  She has a way of writing, of telling her story, that feels like two friends having a heart-to-heart.  And what a heart that girl has!

I came to believe absolutely what she does to the core:  that one individual can change the world, one person at a time.  She makes it seem so easy.  But Katie believes it so much more strongly than any one person I have ever read about and that is what made this story so inspirational for me.  Ultimately, it wasn't only her Christian convictions (which are cement-hard and awe-inspiring); it is her bravely in the face of absolute defeat and diversity.  To face daily the struggles that she does (poverty, disease, famine, abuse and endless, endless need), and keep on going make her a hero that any reader could find inspiration from. 

But her Christian conviction bothered me.  Because this book changed me and I didn't really want to be changed.  This is where all Christians should be warned because after reading this book, you cannot remain the same kind of Christian you were before.  This is a book about stepping out of your Christian comfort zone and living the religion and while that kind of talk is popular right now all over churches all over the land, this girl did it.  This book is powerful and comfortable and so very true. 

It isn't a book you can cast off after you've read it. It isn't one you can put aside and then move on to the next great hero. It is a story that will stay with you and change you and will cause you to look for ways to create the kind of change you see in the book.

And after you've read, what are you going to do about it? 

Because the first question I had was 'How is it possible to do what she did?' 

Now I am left only with this question, 'How is it possible not to do what she did?' 

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