“I HATE THAT BOOK!” It was a volatile comment, overheard recently at a Christian book fair. And it had been said about MY book!
Why would someone say they hated a book of prayers? I was puzzled – and curious. What would make someone feel so strongly about prayer?
Then it came to me. The person had been, or had known someone who was, a victim! The person who has been wronged doesn’t want to forgive the deed. “An eye for an eye” is their angry response. A victim isn’t usually interested in knowing how the offender feels.
Consider, if you will, a shift in thinking here. I wrote the prayers in The Prisoner’s Prayer Book with men and women behind bars in mind. However, I have had it suggested to me, that these prayers could apply to others as well. Think of the prisons we make for ourselves. They may not be made of steel, but they are every bit as confining.
Perhaps the person who hates my book is the same individual who recognized his or her own self-made fortress. The raw and brutal emotions of searing pain, wracking remorse and painful jealousy often lurk only slightly below our outer facades. Isolation and loneliness then compound our ability to face the rest of our emotions head on.
If you have allowed yourself to build walls and to steel your emotions, there may be something in The Prisoner’s Prayer Book for you as well. You are not alone…whether you are behind bars of steel, or imprisoned in a silent world of your own making. God knows your pain…and prayer can help. And – just as an aside – even though that person was vehement about hating my book, that person still left the building WITH it.