A good book makes me focus on broader issues beyond the narrative presented in the text.
That happened with this book, “All the Pretty Things.”
The author, Edie Wadsworth, grew up poor in Tennessee with an alcoholic father (who she adored) and a devoted mother, sister and family. Despite a lack of material wealth, she manages to graduate from high school, enroll in college, get married, finish medical school (while married with 2 kids), get divorced, remarry, establish a medical practice and then leave that medical practice to focus on her family.
Only to have everything go up in flames in a house fire.
The title of the book comes from her watching “all the pretty things” get destroyed by the fire. She lost all of her material possessions but retained the love of her family and her relationship with God.
This book made me think about what God had to burn out of my life in order for Him to shape me into the person that he wants me to be.
In order to fully embrace God and to live out “thy will be done,” everything that stands in the way of a complete surrender – pride, too much dependence on self and an unwavering belief in my innate abilities (etc., etc.) – had to be burned to the ground.
All of it had to go.
After my “fire” there was nothing left to serve as a distraction. I was able see and embrace the truth of what is most important. The only thing that matters when all is said is done; the only thing that is needed to get through this life.
The truth was there all along, obscured by “all the pretty things.”
What is that truth? What couldn’t I see clearly?