Lashings Of Love And Laughter
Christine Dillon has tackled a brave topic that is often avoided – cancer. Her novel is really powerful. It pulls no punches, telling life as it is – Highs and lows, love and laughter, anger and tears.
Grace In Strange Disguise is about a journey of discovery. Only when we reach rock bottom do we discover what (and Who) is really important and what is just stuff.
The novel warns of the dangers of the prosperity gospel. The belief that “those who have faith would be protected from problems.” This is flawed teaching. Jesus never promised us a trouble free life. In fact He said that in this life we would have troubles but He did promise to never leave us.
A journey of faith is exciting. We never know who we will meet along the way. People are important in opening our eyes and pointing us to the right road. Then we can see if we are “happy to follow a miracle worker who blessed her on her terms. But was she willing to follow a crucified Saviour?”
Once we know Jesus, our job is to share the Good News with others. We want “conversations with the potential to impact eternity.” The road may be hard at times but we need to introduce others to “the bondage breaker.”
Living with cancer is fraught with emotions. It is understandable to feel anger. “Where was God and what was He doing?” Life feels so black. “The sun was shining. How dare it shine.” God can take our anger. He is big enough. He wants us to be real with Him. When the future is uncertain, “We follow Jesus one day at a time and leave the future to Him.”
The novel shows the power of prayer. “Prayers had become her oxygen.” When there is nothing else to do, we can always pray. God hears and answers prayers but not always in the way we expect Him to. He is our real Saviour and not some sugar coated Father Christmas.
Bitterness and unforgiveness will destroy you from the inside out. “Holding a grudge only destroys the grudge holder.” We need to forgive and move on. We must not let bitterness hold us back.
Names in the novel are important and significant. When I heard the name Esther, I was reminded of the Biblical Esther who was placed in the king’s court “for such a time as this.”
There is power in the art of storytelling. People listen, remember, respond and react to stories. Biblical tales are woven into the fabric of the story to illustrate points. (Christine Dillon has written a marvellous book Telling The Gospel Through Story that is well worth investing in.)
I found Grace In Strange Disguise a powerful and emotional read. You definitely needs tissues handy. Christine Dillon bravely tacked a taboo subject that could have been a depressing read but wasn’t. It was a realistic read that gave hope – hope for a brighter tomorrow. We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.
Very, very powerful. Highly recommended.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.