Mimi's Reviews > Christy

Christy by Catherine Marshall
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Jul 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, young-adult
Read in March, 2011

I have read this book two or three times now, and I enjoyed it as I always do. This story chronicles 11 months in a young woman's life as she leaves her parents and her sheltered, comfortable life to volunteer as a teacher at a mission school in the rugged, Appalachian mountains. Removed from everything she is familiar with and confronted with poverty and tragedy, she wrestles with her view of herself and God.

This time I marked some passages that stuck out to me.

"'You're sensitive, Christy. So am I,' said Miss Alice. 'You want to know why seeing stark evil hasn't made me rough or bitter?' She seemed to be seeing into her past. Then she took a deep breath, plunged on. 'Remember, I said it was God who was prying the little girl's hands off her eyes. As if He were saying, "I can't use ivory-tower followers. They're plaster of paris; they crumble and fall apart in life's press. So you've got to see life the way it really is before you can do anything about evil. You cannot vanquish it. I can. But in My world, the battle against evil has to be a joint endeavor. You and Me. I, God, in you, can have the victory every time." After that, He was always right there beside me, looking at the dreadful sights with compassion and love and heartbreak. His caring and His love were too real for bitterness to grow in me.'"

"'I happen to know that a certain man for two days disregarded a strong inner impulse to go to her. Finally he did go, but it was too late. So God's clear order went unheeded. And evil had its day. The result of our disobedience can be that simple, that horrible.'"

"There was something else I had noticed too: an initial acceptance of herself as she was and so of other people with their foibles. And so she did as little scolding and criticizing of others for their foolish behavior or their sins as anyone I had ever known. It was not that she was willing to compromise with wrongdoing or poverty or ignorance, just that she was a long step ahead of wasting emotional energy on fretting. And she never put pressure on the rest of us to accept her opinions. The secret of her calm seemed to be that she was not trying to prove anything. She was—that was all. And her stance toward life seemed to say: God is—and that is enough."
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