Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

We have had it happen to us – suffering consequences because of someone else's choices. And we have seen others suffer because of the choices we've made. We cling to hope, a hope made ragged by wear, signs of heavy use.

Cynthia tells the stories of people walking through the aftermath of other people's choices. There is the family of the father and husband who left on Christmas Eve to be with the other woman. There is the family whose house burned to the ground. There are the parents who are reeling from their child's suicide. The elderly woman shocked that her trusted financial adviser swindled her out of her retirement fund. The man let go in downsizing just months from retirement. The woman whose husband, suddenly dead from an undiagnosed aneurysm, failed to send in the life insurance policy they had agreed on.

These are stories of tested faith. There are encouraging stories of people who refused to let the irresponsible actions of others define them. People who cling to the hope that God hears and cares. Ragged hope. Some of the stories don't have happy endings – just like life. Some of the pain has no cure this side of heaven.

Though the stories are fictionalized accounts, they are based on people Cynthia knows or stories people have told her.

Cynthia has included thoughtful comments and questions after each story. She also includes practical suggestions for helping others, should you know someone in a situation similar to the one in the story.

Cynthia has a way of crafting beautiful prose. She writes of a man who put retribution on God's to-do list and erased it off his own. And, “The maintenance costs for regret upkeep can bankrupt a person's spirit.” (112) One talks about “getting” the extravagance of Jesus. “Knowing what they'd done, He made a decision to keep loving people who caused His pain, undeserved pain, friends who wrote His death sentence.” (167) And writing about a woman whose husband had given her AIDS, “The morning he deserted her, she heard a rooster crow.” (168) Here's another: “The speedboat of his moral failure – a.k.a. sin – resulted in several capsizes and drownings.” (110)

We will never be free from the fallout of other people's destructive choices. This is a beautifully written book of encouragement, a testimony of people recovering and getting back to trusting and worshiping Jesus. Read it. Give it to a friend. Be encouraged.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can find other reviews here.

Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with “Heartbeat of the Home” radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. You can find out more at

Abingdon Press, 208 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. 

No comments: