Do Not Forget
The novel is written around a mission trip to El Salvador. Here there is much poverty and neglect. Orphaned children are abandoned. Even children with parents are neglected, unloved and seen as useless commodities. Words spoken over them in anger remain lodged in their hearts – useless, worthless, unloved. These children need to know God’s heart for them. They need to experience love and compassion. “We cannot save the world… nor the children of our school, but we can impact the life of one.”
God needs people to be His eyes and ears, His hands and feet, to show those who are unloved their value in His eyes, that they are precious to Him. “As if God Himself loved these children through her.”
God gives us dreams. Our dreams may change. We need to be open to follow God’s calling on our lives. How? The novel explains the need for prayer and then if it is God’s plan, peace will follow.
There is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Material wealth may mean spiritual poverty. There is nothing wrong with having stuff, unless that is where we place our hearts. God wants us to have a heart for people. To speak up for those without a voice. In the novel a character is asked to “step out of her comfort zone, and to love these precious children.”
The novel has the theme of trust. Past experiences mean some find trusting people hard but God can be trusted full stop. Sometimes when life is hard, we believe God is absent, or worse, uncaring. “Either God wasn’t real or He didn’t care.” In our anger and our need, we wonder “if You’re really there, why don’t You help us?” God sees. God cares. God weeps. God sends people to walk alongside us. “Speaking hope and truth into… children’s lives.”
There are awakenings within the novel. Awakenings to God. Awakenings to our role in His world.
America and El Salvador are very different. The reader is reminded that God does not concern Himself with our stuff, God looks at our hearts. God wants our hearts surrendered to Him and us pursuing kingdom works.
The novel is about families – actual families, our wider family, and the family of God, the church. The church when it functions as Jesus intended, is a beautiful thing – needs are met, hearts are open to others, unconditional love is given. Unfortunately not all families are good. Sometimes children suffer at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them. Children then become suspicious of all adults, and even project their suspicions on to God. They need to know “in Christ there is always hope.” Then they will realise “maybe God doesn’t hate me after all.”
Healing Love is a beautiful novel. It will break your heart. It will restore your soul. It will give you hope – hope that the world can be a better place.
The characters were realistically drawn and you will fall in love with the children. To echo Jennifer Slattery’s closing words – if you are affected by the plight of orphans, you can help via Compassion by sponsoring a child or two. Just £25 a month makes a huge difference to a child in poverty. Together we can change the world one child at a time.
A beautiful novel. Thank you Jennifer Slattery for highlighting a need and for writing such a wonderful story.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.