We plunged down the hillside, gathering speed in the darkness. The only house in the valley was as dark as the night. We were running late again. I couldn't seem to get the hang of getting a baby, a preschooler, and myself ready on time. My husband was trying to make up time by speeding through the lonely Maine countryside. When he slowed, I demanded, "Why are you slowing down?"
"Because of the moose," he answered.
I peered around us but could see no moose. "What moose?"
He glanced at me sheepishly. "I don't know."
Suddenly we both knew. Four moose stumbled out of the low snowbank into the lights of our little Volkswagen Rabbit. My husband slammed on the brakes. We skidded to a stop only a few feet from the huge beasts who sauntered across the road. We sat there trembling for some time. I'm not a visually-oriented person, but I can still see those moose stepping into our car lights. Each year someone is killed in Maine by running into a moose. I've never seen the statistics for a family of four in a Volkswagen Rabbit hitting four moose.
What does this have to do with Steve and Ginny Saint's new book, Walking His Trail? Everything! Using stories from their own lives, they encourage readers to capture and pass on the evidences, the sandcastles, that God has left in their path to their children and grandchildren.
The book originated after a Spanish exchange student challenged Steve to show him evidence of God's existence. Walking on the beach together, Steve pointed out a sand castle ahead of them as evidence that someone had been there. He then began sharing sand castles from his life.
Those sand castles take the reader from Wisconsin to Texas to Ecuador to Timbuktu (really). The experiences vary from interviewing the five widows of the Jim Elliot expedition, to the Waodani in Ecuador, to buying the perfect home, to being the tool to turn someone else back to God, to the sudden death of their daughter. Some of the situations are heartwarming, and something we might envision happening in our small lives, while others are huge sandcastles.
Writing with humor, honesty, and vulnerability, the Saints have produced a book that is absorbing and uplifting, also occasionally controversial. Several of the chapters relate to the making of The End of the Spear. One deals with how homosexual Chad Allen ended up playing Nate and Steve Saint in the movie. I found Steve's explanation understandable, satisfying, and even refreshing. Steve's stories, in particular, brim with energy, while Ginny's welcome you with her warmth.
One of the things that I most appreciated about the accounts was that Steve and Ginny come across as real people struggling with some of the same problems we do: having God-honoring attitudes, dealing with grief, and wondering "why" sometimes. Their Christianity is not out of the reach of someone like me, though some of the episodes they describe will never come my way.
One of the most moving chapters in the book was "Widow's Stories," in which the widows of the martyred missionaries describe their last sight of their husbands. This is both awe-inspiring and gut-wrenching. My only complaint is that I was a little confused over the terms Quechua, Waodani, and Auca. A little more explanation would have helped.
Walking His Trail is a book worth reading, absorbing, and passing on to your children and grandchildren. In times of doubt it's worth going back to. It leaves you feeling the need to record those instances of God's intervention in your life, like the year our garden grew 200 pounds of potatoes and 80 pumpkins, our truck broke down in December, and my husband got laid off from his carpentry job. Though we didn't go hungry, thanks to God, we don't eat a lot of potatoes now! Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com