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The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken Hardcover – March 6, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Does the Christian life have to be boring? Naomi Zacharias offers a resounding 'no' in this book for those who are troubled by global injustice and long for a significant place in life. Listen to her story -- and begin to realize your own. Follow Zacharias as she wrestles with confusion, contradiction, and struggle with identity. Through real-life encounters with victims of global injustice, see how she discovers that the pain she feels in the face of extreme tragedy mirrors a kind of pain in her own soul and reveals a common struggle that exists within all of humanity. As Naomi Zacharias talked to women working in brothels in Mumbai; survivors of an Indonesian tsunami where more than 160,000 lives were lost; and a young girl dying before an operation can be performed to save her life, she began to understand her own story. What will your story be? Will it be marriage and children? A career? Or a solo journey? No matter what calling you discover, each promises significance and a unique calling that is yours. If you resonate with books such as Lauren Winner's Girl Meets God or Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper, you'll find Zacharias book exactly to your taste. Real faith. Real purpose. Real redemption. Zacharias doesn't have all the answers. But she has hope and encouragement that will empower you to begin the adventure of your life.

About the Author

Naomi Zacharias graduated from Wheaton College. After working in sales for Coca-Cola, she joined RZIM and launched Wellspring International, an initiative devoted to providing financial grants to international efforts working with at-risk women and children. Naomi has spent time in red-light districts in The Netherlands, India, and Thailand; foster homes for children affected by HIV/AIDS throughout Asia; hospitals providing surgical treatment for women who have been victims of violence in the Congo; women’s prisons in South Africa; displacement camps in Indonesia, Uganda and Pakistan; areas of the Middle East offering aid to Iraqi refugees; and areas of Southeast Asia devastated by the tsunami of 2004. Naomi recently met and married her husband, Drew, in Florence, Italy. They currently live in Oxford, England.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310327377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310327370
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Crestviewer VINE VOICE on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Naomi Zacharias is a gifted writer who masterfully weaves together stories of loss, disappointment, survival, hope, and love - both personal and from women around the world - to show that despite nationality, circumstances, and profession, we are all the same.

Naomi says that "a statistic is always different than a face," and this book gives flesh to some of the statistics associated with prostitution, poverty, suffering, and injustice. The stories are powerful, challenging, and transforming.

This is a page turning, soul stirring book. It is a great reminder that while pain and loss are not enjoyable, and often not explainable, in time they have the ability to draw us into a deeper, richer relationship with God and with those around us.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, this is a powerful and moving book. Right from the start, you're drawn in to Zacharias' incredible stories and her unique ability to weave insights, perspective and truth into seemingly broken and hopeless situations. She writes with refreshing honesty about her own life - the struggles, pressures and disappointments as things haven't turned out exactly as hoped. Who can't relate to those kinds of feelings? But thankfully, Zacharias shares the grace, hope, and redemption that she has found.

As I read through "The Scent of Water", I regularly found myself completely captivated by Zacharias' stories and then powerfully challenged at the close of each chapter with how stories tied together and truth was revealed.

If you have a heart for the work of justice, compassion and mercy worldwide, you need to read this book. If you're struggling with purpose, joy and the path your life is taking, you need to read this book. If you desire to learn profound biblical truth in the context of real-world stories, you need to read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a stay at home mom and hanging out with other stay at home moms I often find myself in a very safe Christian bubble consumed with nap schedules, feedings, and development milestones. "The Scent of Water," by Naomi Zacharias will bring you out of that bubble or whatever bubble you are in. I am not naïve enough to thing injustices do not happen in our world. But Naomi Zacharias has a way of vividly describing her surroundings so you feel you are there with her while she's walking in the red light district or entering a brothel.

She tells the story of several women and the brokenness in their lives and how they are trying to get out of their brokenness and live new lives. At first glance you might feel this book could be depressing as you read about the horrid lives these young women have lived and the pits they end up in. But again, Zacharias has a way of bringing it full circle so you see them now and how God's mercy has shown down on them. Each woman's story recognizes God's grace and mercy and they all thank Him for it.

Towards the end of the book Zacharias says, "Life is about fighting through what is painful, what is downright wrong, for the sake of what is right." You may not have survived life in the red light district or had a husband that turned out to be a pimp but we all have pain in our past that has shaped who we are in our present and, more than likely, will shape our future. The question we must all ask ourselves is if we are going to let God use our past for His future or are we going to attempt to hide it from everyone and pretend it never happened never allowing it to be used for God's glory.

Thanks to Zondervan publishing for providing me a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.
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Format: Hardcover
Zondervan provided me with the book free of charge, for the purpose of review. See my blog at [...]

Synopsis

This is an autobiography of Naomi Zacharias' life. She takes the reader through the incredible (and enviable) adventures that 99% of us will never go on. Providing opportunities for children to get liver transplants they will never get, visiting the Red Light district in Amsterdam armed with compassion and hope for the women enslaved there, undercover opps into Afghanistan under the cover of darkness, and much more. Through all of these circumstances she weaves us in and out her story.

Best line of the book:

"I remember the time of fearlessness fondly. But in truth, the naiveté of younger years should not be confused with courage. It is only courage when we know the cost of failure. It is only faith when there is the potential for doubt. And it can only be won when we have to fight for it. (p. 77)"

My Thoughts

Here's the good stuff. Naomi is completely open and honest throughout the book. She is far from perfect, and she lets us know that early and often. Her life is one filled with adventure, chance and heartbreak. Her openness and honesty was refreshing and instructive. In the chapter "Wild Tresses" she lets us in on some hurtful relationships that were ruined by the monster called porn. As a man, she gives me the perspective that I cannot have on my own: that of a woman. That perspective of feeling betrayed, of feeling insufficient, of being less than what a "woman" ought to be; she saw her man falling for someone who had what she did not and would not ever have. The image of God in a woman is destroyed through porn, and she helps us see this from her own perspective.
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