The book is written by a mother about her search for meaning after the murder of her daughter. I was a bit apprehensive about reading it because I was aware of the circumstances at the time and I felt it would be unnecessarily distressing to read the mother's thoughts. However somehow I knew that I had to. I am so glad that I followed my intuition.
Amazingly, given the circumstances, I found the book to be very, very inspirational and I now treasure it greatly. I had no idea of the benefits I would gain from reading it.
When you think about what sort of remarkable woman (who had absolutely no motivation for self promotion) could write such a book, you get the first glimpse of its potential. Then you pick it up: it's beautifully packaged, beautifully laid out and with easy to read (but powerful) words. Labelled "Ciara's Gift", you reflect on the attitude that would distil such an experience into a "gift" and you now realise that this will indeed be worth reading.
And so it was. Yes, there is grief and sorrow and generally I don't care for reading about that. But in this book, rising above that, one sees absolute confirmation of faith, and the immeasurable support that it provides. How good is that?! Consequently, the book offers an exciting insight into how we might approach confronting events ie. supported, even lifted, by faith.
One part of me says that I should not try and push anyone to read this beautiful piece of work because it is so profound that it deserves to be respected and absorbed, rather than just read by an unreceptive mind, at someone's strong urging. However the other part of me says that this is a must read because it demonstrates, completely free of any agenda, how faith can provide the peace of mind that we so often need.
Don't go looking for a check list - it's not that kind of book. The benefits to me came from absorbing the author's thoughts then reflecting on her approach, her later experiences and understandings and then, inevitably, considering my own approach to problems. This is very powerful as it has potential for interactions in almost every day our life, not just in times of grief. A wonderful sense of peace and calm can follow.
If you "get it" like I did, you too will have gained precious insights that can never be taken away - some of Ciara's gift.
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