Friday, January 7, 2011

Top Shelf, Selection One--The Bronze Bow

The Bronze Bow is one of the books on my top shelf that takes me somewhere. It transports me to Israel at the time of Christ, which is why I read it once a year, around Christmas time. Elizabeth George Speare's descriptive language is so deliciously done, you can almost smell the scent of roasting fish and hear the lapping waters of the Sea of Galilee as the crowd gathers there to hear Christ speak.

The descriptive passages alone might be enough to bring me back to this book again and again. But it's the story that lingers in my mind long after I've turned the last page.

18-year-old Daniel, a blacksmith, hates the Romans who occupy his land. He not only hates them, he's vowed to repay them for the deaths of his parents. But there's one thing that stands in his way--his waif of sister. How can he pursue vengeance when he's charged with her care?

Love and hate are at war in Daniel's heart. And that person, that Jesus, only serves to confuse the issue. Isn't a vow sacred? he asks Jesus. Daniel feels that Jesus could--if he would--chase the cursed Romans from their land. So why won't he?

Love or hate. Daniel has to decide. And that's untimately what this book is about--choice. Through this book, I've come to realize that there will never be so many evidences from God that we are forced to believe in Him. There will always be an element of choice in our faith.

The Bronze Bow is a stirring story, beautifully written, and well deserving of its 1962 Newberry Medal.

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