- 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: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Scent of Water: Grace for Every Kind of Broken Hardcover – March 6, 2011
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From the Back Cover
About a year ago, I took a significant step that I was certain would redefine my life. I loaded up my television, a few trash bags filled with clothes, and my most prized possession, an 85-pound golden retriever named India. I set out across the country on a new adventure, and began the search for an apartment. I finally stumbled upon the perfect place. It was a small guest house with a fenced yard and a landlord who used to be a baker. At the end of each work day, I looked forward to this special place of solace in a city with glaring spaces I felt inadequate to fill. One unforgettable day, I came home to find my dog proudly sitting next to a huge hole she had very conspicuously created in the center of the yard. The well-manicured lawn my landlord spent weekends tending was now an eyesore. I envisioned our imminent eviction. My landlord acted with remarkable grace as I profusely apologized, and when I came home the next day, the hole had been neatly filled in and smoothed over. I was relieved; my guilt was assuaged. But a few days later, India had emptied the hole again. Months later, I returned home after a few weeks overseas. When I stepped into the yard, my eyes widened incredulously at what I saw. Where the gaping eyesore once dwelled now stood a beautiful tree that was positively spectacular. I went to find my landlord who grinned and quipped, 'It seemed like the perfect place for a tree, don't you think?' Yes, it was the perfect place, but until the tree had been planted, I had never noticed that anything was missing. The answer was not to simply cover up the hole. And it wasn't to leave the gaping chasm glaring back at us. The answer was to give it purpose. And then I wondered, What if the holes in our lives are actually there to create the space for something beautiful? Every little girl is born with dreams. She longs for an adventure of her own, to discover who she is and to leave a mark on the world in which she finds herself. She hungers to matter...to someone, to something. But when she grows up, she is confronted with obstacles that leave her tired and confused. Her dreams are diminished by societal norms and misunderstood gender roles that seem to make her dreams of lesser importance. Sometimes she believes she is defined by the dreams of another. Sometimes her choices and happenings seem to put her dreams out of reach. Sometimes she's placed in a box that makes it easy to forget what those dreams were in the first place. For me, the door to finding my place opened when I nervously rapped on someone else's door and sat next to a young girl in a brothel in Amsterdam simply to talk to her. It continued when I stepped over goats and cows and garbage to visit smiling children living in a shelter on a dark and grievous street in Bombay. It deepened when I stood on a deserted beach littered with devastation and unspeakable loss from a cruel tsunami. These places were not pretty. They were painful. They were real life. Each time, I was there to hear someone else's story. And somehow, I began to unpack my own. This is a story. It is not a manual or book of seven steps or five formulas to finding yourself with lists of places and professions that guarantee success. And I must admit that I would be a bit disappointed if I didn't believe my story was fashioned specifically for me, as yours is for you. Much like I began sequences in my own story by listening to others, my hope is that in hearing my story and that of those who greatly influenced it, you will begin to see your own as well; the more beautiful, flawed and gnarled branches that create the backdrop to a Neverland entirely different than you could have imagined.
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.
Top customer reviews
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I am a minister who taught on the college level for many years and talked about/taught about grief many times, but without having experienced much grief myself. Several experiences of the last 8 years have made me more personally knowledgeable about and sensitive to grief (and grace) in myself and in others. Long before the author shared her personal experience about grief, I knew that she had a personal knowledge about grief, a sensitivity to it, and a commitment do something about it. Grace in thought and action in the Zecharias family tradition.
The writing is well done. Each chapter is self-contained and often sandwiched between an introduction that is picked up in the fitting conclusion to the chapter. I found that the book allowed time for reflection and also drove me forward to the next chapters in a well-balanced way.
The title comes from Job 14:9. Job 14 is about renewal, resurrection, new life, restoration, et al. The book accomplishes the same chapter after chapter after chapter.
If the book does nothing but help to bring "Grace to Every Kind of Broken" to the reader (or through the reader to others), it has accomplished its task. If it helps to lighten your wallet with a contribution to Wellspring (or make your credit card "heavier"), it will be grace well spent.