Thursday, September 15, 2011

Letters to Saint Lydia

I recently read the simply beautiful book Letters to Saint Lydia, by Melinda Johnson. Now, I'm a soft touch. I'll admit it. I can cry while watching a Hallmark commercial. And I knew I was in for it when I was already wiping my face dry during the first chapter.

This is a book about a young woman, about to go to college, whose life is turned upside down by the conversion of the rest of her family to Orthodoxy. It's actually not a very strange premise. I personally know people who converted as almost whole families. And this poor girl is the one left behind. And then all the ordinary but horrible stresses pile upon her. Alongside it all, she begins a correspondence, via journal format, with Saint Lydia of "Rich Purple Dealer from the Book of Acts" fame. And as the poor thing pours out her heart to a Saint she doesn't believe in, we get to read the very real Saint's responses as she prays in heaven for this dear girl.

I have re-read very few books in my life. This one is on the list because I finished it and realized that Saint Lydia had said many things that were deeper than I understood at first glance. Finally, this book found me at a stage in my life when I was struggling through a patch of spiritual aridity. But this book lifted me out of it. And therefore this book did not find me by coincidence.

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