Why God Calls Us To Dangerous Places | Book Review
A few years ago, I was introduced to Kate McCord through my daughter, who loaned me Kate’s first book. As I read In the Land of the Blue Burqas, I found myself transported to Afghanistan, a country I had briefly visited as a young woman.
On the basis of that book, I was intrigued to see what her new book would be like.
When I received the book, I loved the look and feel of Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places. But I wondered if I would be disappointed. Would it just be another ho hum book? Or worse, an escape into fantasy to help us feel good about our own private illusions? It wasn’t.
Instead, it tugged at my heart and invited me to walk with Kate through difficult places. Her book challenged me to be honest; it welcomed me to venture into areas where there are no guarantees and we have no control.
Brings the truth of violence before our eyes, followed by the response of forgiveness
Shows that no matter our sin, we each began life in the presence of the Heavenly Father
Encourages us to move from being spectators, to be participators in life
Challenges us to get our hands dirty, to love Jesus with all our heart, and to love the unlovely
Many of us have loved or at least known of someone who suffered for their faith. We all know someone who has experienced an act of violence, who has suffered from cancer or the horrid loss of a child, or who has lost a loved one killed by a drunk driver.
Acts that don’t make sense is a topic we can no longer escape, for violence and evil has increased worldwide.
Kate brings the truth of violence before our eyes, where we have to face the reality those who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But this book is not a bitter vitriolic spewing of hatred with self-righteous judgment.
Kate walks daily in the presence of her beloved Lord, who has taught her the path of forgiveness and love. With compassion, she demonstrates the beauty and hope of Christ in her writing.
The Father Heart of God
I especially loved her chapter on the Father’s love. Kate shared the story of a mother of 8 children, (two had died) who lived in a refugee camp. Struggling to survive, the mom was deeply distressed, for she was again with child; there were no guarantees there would be sufficient food for another mouth.
Kate tenderly had them read Psalms 139 out loud. Once, twice, three times. Between readings, they discussed what they had read.
Then Kate took this frightened mother to the verse, “For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” As they spoke, this dear lady realized the Lord had not abandoned her. In fact, He was there with the child in her womb, tenderly shaping her precious baby.
My heart was deeply touched as I read on. Kate took that story and wove it together with the story of a mujahadin, who lived in shame for his past. Like the mother who saw her unborn child in a fresh light, Psalms 139 softened Kate’s heart to see this man, who had committed great evil, in a new way. The Lord had been with the mujahedin, there in the darkness of his mother’s womb, shaping him, loving him, caring for him.
She drew such a beautiful picture of the Father’s heart that my heart sang. No matter our sin, no matter the degradation or violence we engage in, no matter the depth of our shame, we each began life in the presence of the Heavenly Father. There in our vulnerability, we experienced the Father’s heart of love.
The Heavenly Father’s desire is not to destroy evil people; it is to draw them with cords of love so He may deliver them from the powers of darkness and to give them life so they may experience the wonder of His forgiveness and love.
Off the Sidelines
Kate has a vibrant faith in her Lord and beautifully reflects His heart of loving kindness. Scripture is interwoven through all of her writing. She asks hard questions that challenge the reader to go deeper to gain a fresh glimpse of the Father’s heart of love for all peoples, regardless of their backgrounds, ethnicity, color, or history.
Kate calls us off the sidelines, encourages us to move from being spectators, and encourages us to be participators in life. She challenges us to get our hands dirty, to love Jesus with all of our heart, and to learn to love the unlovely – those the Father deeply loves and cares for.
This is an excellent book, well worth engaging with. I highly recommend you reading it, especially if you desire to know the Lord in a fresh and deeper way, if you have suffered because of being in a dangerous place, or if someone close to you is currently walking in a dangerous place.
May the Lord give each of us the courage to say, “Here am I, Lord, send me,” even if it means the dangerous places, for it is in the dangerous places we learn and experience the deep things of the Lord in a way we could not otherwise experience.