I'm a huge fan of Melody's writing, but I've never viewed her quite like I do today. After reading her soon to be released adult novel, this author is willing to take a risk, to challenge the churches, and to take us places we really would rather not go.
At least, I know I would have been happier not knowing what I now know. More comfortable, at least. More secure.
I will never see people the same...Melody's writing has forever changed me.
"The Other Side of Darkness" is a fictional, first person tale of a wife, mother, and passionate follower of the church. Ruth fights mightily on her knees as a prayer warrior for her family.
She prays about everything. She prays constantly. She encourages her daughters, her very young daughters, to pray without ceasing.
Ruth knows what others do not seem to know or care about. She knows her prayers are keeping the demons that seek to invade her family at bay. She knows that if she can only pray enough, intercede enough, command deliverance enough, her family will be healed, secure, and...something indefinable.
What others know that Ruth doesn't seem to know is that she has been captivated by a cult that is masquerading as a church, and that she needs help. Oh, her desire to obey God is heartfelt and genuine, but it is tainted by the compulsions that she battles and the lies she has been fed.
Fair warning: this is not an easy novel to read. As I read deeper and deeper into the story, I was nearly begging Melody, "When will this madness end?" because it just seemed to go on and on and on and on...
...then I realized something. If just reading about it drove me to places of darkness, what must it be like to LIVE it? How many people are captivated by lies and cults and masquerades, desperately needing help, and we walk by them every day?
As the church, we must rise up and proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ loudly and clearly, and bathe our words in love and grace and mercy. Not water them down, but make certain our motive is love...God's love.
I can't tell you the ending. You'll just have to read it for yourself in September of 2008, when it releases from Multnomah. Until then, I'm giving "The Other Side of Darkness" the golden bookmark, and sending Melody my humble thanks for having the creativity, courage, and mercy to write this heart-rending story.
You know it's good when you find yourself praying for fictional characters! 'Nuff said!