When I was 23 I boarded a plane in Newark, NJ with my best friend, two suitcases, and a visa good for eleven months. We were going to a western Guatemala city where foreigners were few and opportunity was great. It was, for reasons too numerous to mention here, one of the most difficult times of my life. Don’t be quick to assume it was Guatemala itself that knocked my soul into chaos, no, there were so many things happening concurrently at home that wrecked my heart into smithereens. I came home broken in so many ways.
Reading Marcia Moston’s book Call of a Coward the past few days, all I can think about as she describes her time, uprooted from New Jersey and plunked in a Mayan village in Guatemala, is my own story of Guatemala. It’s a story I don’t think about often and so I’ve been so grateful to read Marcia’s account, in a strange way it has been healing for me.
It’s a book of vingnettes, short chapters telling her readers the story in bite sized pieces. It is no small thing to uproot your middle-class life in your 40s, pack your ten year old daughter, and a few suitcases, and drive to a country that is in the aftermath of a bloody civil war. But somehow, Marcia tells it in small ways, “So I listed the house in the ‘For Rent’ section of the newspaper…and [a] couple responded.” This is all we hear about the home Marcia left behind—a decision that couldn’t have been easy and must have been wrought with mental anxiety and personal cost. The whole of the book reads in much the same way—this is what happened and then we moved on.
It’s refreshing to read of such a life.
There is nothing about the Moston’s story that finishes or resolves; it is not the story of “We came, we saw, we conquered.” Instead it is the story of God who knows a coward’s heart will only go one way on its own and that is backwards. It is the story of a God who moves the coward ahead when she goes with confidence in His goodness and faithfulness to her and her family.
When I came back from Guatemala, earlier than I’d planned, 50 pounds lighter, gaunt, tired, and ashamed, there was no voice louder in my ear that the one that taunted, “Coward. Coward. Coward.” over and over again. But Moston’s book showed me this week that God calls the cowards, He calls the unequipped, and the ill-prepared. He calls those who will sell it all and commit to forever. But sometimes He calls the coward who will go home at the end of their cross-cultural experience a changed and braver person.
I’m giving away this copy of Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife. Would you like to receive it?
1. Click to tweet this: Enter for your chance to win @marciamoston’s Call of a Coward over at @loreferguson’s blog! http://ow.ly/cxbZE #bookgiveaway
Share and Like this on Facebook: Book giveaway over at Sayable || the blog. Call of a Coward: The God of Moses and the Middle-Class Housewife. Come on over for your chance to win! http://sayable.net/2012/07/call-of-a-coward/
2. You will need to then comment on this post to let me know you’ve done one or the other. If you do both twitter and facebook, you’ll be entered twice, so make sure to let me know in the comment section! (Make sure there’s a way for me to contact you. Either your twitter or facebook handle or your email address.) (If you don’t have either twitter or fb, just let me know in the comments that you’d still like to be entered!)
I’ll pick a winner next Friday!
You can also just buy it online here, if you don’t want to take your chances with winning =)