His Sycamore Sweetheart by Stacey Weeks is an absolutely charming contemporary Christian novel. It is the second book in the Sycamore Hill series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The action takes place around the heart of the community – the church. When the church functions as Jesus intended, it is beautiful to see. However, the church is made up of imperfect people, all in need of a Savior, all in need of forgiveness. “The church should be a safe place where everyone felt welcome, but too often it functioned like a social club.” When we take our eyes off Jesus, our vision becomes distorted.
Stacey Weeks has perfectly shown what happens when a church loses its focus. She has created a flawed but realistic environment that is easy to visualise. It is against this background that characters have got hurt. Unfortunately, gossip has occurred. Gossip is cruel. It needs to be squashed. There is no place for gossip in a healthy church.
We see what a lifetime of listening to the wrong voices has done to a character. “[She] couldn’t remember when the shame of not measuring up wasn’t part of her, making her dirty. Contaminated. Unclean.” The voices whispering in an ear have condemned a character to a life in the shadows, believing she will never be ‘good enough.’ It is time to silence the negative voices and listen to God’s voice. God says you are loved and you are enough.
It is no good playing the comparison game. “You are the you that you need to be.” The only person we should compare ourselves to is the person we used to be. If we know Jesus, our goal should be to grow more like Him each day.
It is never good to squash the spirit within children. They should not be silenced but allowed to express themselves and develop their gifts.
The reader witnesses how hard it is when life is lived in the spotlight as we follow a young pastor. His life is scrutinized by his parishioners who should look at their own lives before criticizing his.
No man is an island. No one can do everything. We see that there are times for delegation. If we are not careful, we will be so busy doing things for God that we miss out on what God wants to do in our lives.
His Sycamore Sweetheart is a most delightful book with lessons for us all to learn. I absolutely adored it.
I received a free copy from the author. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.