Faith ‘n’ Fiction Saturday is a weekly event hosted by Amy at My Friend Amy. Each week Amy posts a different question or topic, having to do with faith in fiction, for people to blog about. This month, several bloggers read Godric by Frederick Buechner. According to Wikipedia: Godric is the “semi-fictionalized life story of medieval Catholic saint Godric of Finchale. The novel was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.”
We then participated in a round table discussion via e-mail. Each one of us is posting a portion of the discussion, so you will need to click over to the other participants’ blogs to read the whole thing.
Here are the majority of my comments in the discussion (the rest are found in the other participants’ entries):
“The second thing that I did like was Godric’s take on prayer. This passage especially stood out to me:
What’s prayer? It’s shooting shafts into the dark. What mark they strike, if any, who’s to say? It’s reaching for a hand you cannot touch. The silence is so fathomless that prayers like plummets vanish in the sea. You beg. You whimper. You load God down with empty praise. You tell him sins that he already knows full well. You seek to change his changeless will. Yet Godric prays the way he breathes, for else his heart would wither in his breast. Prayer is the wind that fills his sail. Else waves would dash him on the rocks, or he would drift with witless tides. And sometimes, by God’s grace, a prayer is heard.
LOVE this passage – in fact, reading this book was worth those few sentences. As many of you know, our family has been struggling lately. My 13-year-old daughter, Natalie, was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and we have spent a combined total of 14 nights in the hospital this summer. She is currently at home on IV nutrition and no food except clear liquids, with the hope that this combined with a new medication will bring about improvement. If not, she will undergo surgery to remove part of her intestines.
While we were in the hospital, Natalie and I had some amazing, and often heartbreaking, discussions about the nature of faith and prayer. We have both wept, have been angry with God, felt like our prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. And yet we pray. Not because she has a right to be healed, but because God is there, whether we “feel” Him or not. Because He is faithful, whether or not we receive the answer we want. Because He may not heal her, but He will walk through this with her, and will bring good out of this situation.
Sorry to go off on a tangent. I guess in a nutshell: I didn’t like the book, but I’m glad I read it for that paragraph on prayer that will stick with me for a long, long time.”
Be sure to click through to the other blogs to read the rest of the discussion.