Divine, awe inspiring and humbling.
I just finished reading the book, Divine by Karen Kingsbury (Tyndale Fiction, 2006). It was a fantastic read. A page turner from the first. It follows the lives of two young women, actually… it unravels the life of one amazing woman, Mary Madison, through the circumstance of the second.
Mary Madison, a modern day parallel to Mary magdalene of Bible times, is a woman who went through the most brutal and soul destroying abuse as a child and rose above it all to become one of the most powerful women in America.
Then again, Divine could also be seen as a story of one man’s undying love for a little girl as she clung to him, let him go, broke his heart and found him again. It is the story of how every single aspect of a person’s life, yes, even the brutal and negative ones, can be tenderly and masterfully woven in to a wonderful tapestry of victorious and vibrant living.
The whole novel was one of love and undeniable grace. By the time I was through, I was humbled by the magnitude and depth of the love of the Father. One part which brought this truth home was when Nigel, a Pastor at the mission where Mary Madison was sent to, demonstrated to Mary, the complete and utter non judgmental nature of God’s love. He told her to imagine He was Jesus, and he briefly narrated the shameful details of her past. . . then he asked her ‘what would Jesus do’ or something to that effect. With the shame weighing her down, Mary was sure Jesus would turn her away as too dirty. But then, Nigel, acting as Jesus, opened his arms wide and drew her into a love filled embrace – shame and all. That, he told her, was what Jesus would do.
That analogy broke me. That is the Jesus I love and want to know better. The Jesus who told the woman who had just narrowly escaped being stoned to death to go and sin no more. That same Jesus who met the Samaritan woman by the well and told her he knew she’d been through several husbands and the one she was living with, she wasn’t even married to. No condemnation. That is the message of this book.
It is a story for every one who has ever suffered abuse, oppression, rejection, loss of self esteem. . . you name it. For those who have contemplated suicide and others who have done more than contemplate. It introduces to us, a Christ who is loving, compassionate, and would go to any lengths for one of His.
Karen Kingsbury portrayed the divine nature of God’s love, of the man Jesus in an awe inspiring narrative, which left me completely humbled.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NLT)