CATHERINE BROWN, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 160 Pages, Hardcover, $22.95
The author (using a pseudonym) recounts how she came to salvation in Jesus Christ. Her experiences are unusual, as she was a hippie who came to Christ through reading His Word, was discipled by a Christian hippie, and learned about the Trinity by—according to her own account—“meeting” each of the Persons of the Trinity separately. However, her salvation testimony, flakey or not, lays the foundation for the rest of the book.
By the way, the writing style seems to improve as the book continues, or maybe the story becomes so engrossing that the style weaknesses (such as incorrect word use) are no longer as noticeable.
Catherine was saved and eventually married the man she had been living with. Her new husband “repented and gave his life to God,” but there’s no mention of his coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ or receiving Jesus as his Savior. His subsequent life reveals that he was not born again. Nevertheless, he represented himself as a Christian, tried in his own power to clean up his life, and even attended a Bible college for several months. Eventually the couple divorced.
The part of the story relevant to believers and churches today begins when Catherine learns that her ex-husband is sexually abusing their four children. Her story tells how God’s grace and power in her children’s lives broke the cycle of generations of sexual abuse—the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children, as she says.
Catherine learned slowly over time the extent of the abuse that her children suffered when they visited their father and his family. The story covers Catherine’s efforts to keep her children safe from further abuse, the legal aspects and trial, and how God carried them all through that difficult time. The perpetrators went unpunished in this life; justice was not served by the legal system. And perhaps because of that outcome, this is a story of true victory in Jesus.
Laughter Calls Me would be a good book to read and discuss, particularly concerning the ramifications for a church’s ministry to people like Catherine and her children.
—Jonita Barram, Reviewer