A storyteller's account of the gifts of Christian faith.
Coldicutt’s debut is an intriguing mixture of fiction and memoir, beginning with her personal story of being a retired teacher and mother of four who had noticed for many years the sense of peace and happiness her Christian friends seemed to feel in their faith. “[Jesus] seemed so real to them,” she writes, “as if they’d just been talking to Him.” The blessings of the Christian faith revealed themselves to her in 1986: “After years of running my life on MY terms, I gave it to Jesus and asked Him if He would make a better job of it than I had done.” In the ensuing pages of her narrative, Coldicutt reflects often on her life and faith while mixing in fictional characters and scenarios that involve, for example, a teenage girl’s admitting she’s pregnant, a middle-aged couple’s dealing with a rebellious daughter, and an ambitious software executive’s hoping to have a discreet abortion without her husband’s knowledge. She also includes reflections on Gospel narratives, as when she fleshes out the story of Mary telling Joseph that she’s pregnant. Coldicutt nicely puts it: “[Joseph] drew her gently to a rough-hewn bench he was halfway through planing, swept the shavings off it and sat down with her.” Throughout these vignettes, Coldicutt regularly lists questions for discussion or further thought, such as, “Why was it necessary for God Incarnate to be born in a cave, wrapped in a blanket and placed in a rock-hewn manger?” The centerpiece of these inventions is the author’s dramatization of the famous incident in John 4 in which Jesus talks with a Samarian woman at a well and eventually reveals to her that He is, in fact, the Messiah. “Now she understood,” Coldicutt writes. “This bubbling sensation within her, this was the spring he had spoken of.…Things would never be the same.” This sense of immediate personal transformation runs throughout the book and will doubtless make it very inviting reading for the author's target Christian audience.
A passionate and warmly readable mixture of Christian Bible study and autobiography of faith.