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Walking Through Shadows: Finding Hope in a World of Pain Review by Carrie Wilbur

By Ken Ham and Carl Wieland
Master Books (New Leaf Publishing)
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638

I enjoyed this book very much. I don't know how people make it through the most awful times and trials in life without family and the divine support detailed in this book. Carl Wieland recounts his recovery from an awful accident. Ken Ham tells the story of his brother: a good man cut down in his prime by a horrific illness. The authors tell their stories articulately and with conviction, and they point directly to Christ in all things.

Carl Wieland states that during his trauma and its aftermath he "did not spend a single tortured minute asking 'why' or 'why me.' " While I commend him in this and believe it to be an attitude to strive for, I would urge caution if you are looking for a book to pass on to a grieving friend or family member. While we are truly, as he says, meant to give thanks in all things (rather than for all things, as the interpretation often goes), it is often difficult for a suffering person to appreciate this truth. Be aware of the state of mind of the prospective recipient if you are planning to pass this book along.

Perhaps the point I appreciated most was Carl Wieland's discussion of the Bible and decision making. He states that often people wish to know the will of God in all things, particularly when making a life choice such as what college to choose or whether or not to accept a job offer. I liked very much his statements on this: basically that we won't always know the will of God and that it's not particularly helpful to go around telling others that we do. He recounts a person telling his mother that his accident was the result of his having gone against God's will in choosing to move his family across Australia. He seems to feel that this is absurd, and I quite agree. (Wieland goes on to detail seemingly innumerable miracles in his recovery. Would that same person argue that Wieland had achieved some sort of sanctification through the accident and had therefore regained God's favor?) We are all fragile, working to make progress with each other and with God. So we should have patience with folks who are at different places in their Christian walk. Wieland's story is an excellent reminder of the pointed need for acceptance and understanding, both given and received.

This little book has given me much to think about. I refer to it when facing hard realities in my own life. I recommend it and will purchase it for friends and family.

Product review by Carrie Wilbur, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2006