Shaken to the Core (and Finding God's Strength)
Author: Marjorie Parker
Publisher: Bright Sky Press (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 352 pages
Drawing from powerful personal stories and timeless truths from the Bible, this devotional book offers hope and comfort for the darkest of times. These devotionals along with gentle exercises help strengthen body and soul as they build trust in God
Marjorie Parker’s inspirational offering offers a new twist to the genre, tying the physical need to the spiritual help. The book is a series of individual stories of pain and recovery, though not necessarily in the complete physical sense. Each entry lists a relevant body part or function, ties it to a matching scripture, and then presents the account. As a follow up, Parker gives a prayer, and then an accompanying physical therapy exercise called a “Workout,” and a suggested journaling entry. The reader can choose to all or a combination of these aids. This is the uniqueness of her approach.
Physical pain, in all its many forms, constitutes the book’s focus, together with overcoming it and its subsequent emotional toll. A cancer patient herself, Parker can relate to suffering. Many of the selections deal with those who have lost limbs through accident or war, giving the book a Service appeal. For example, there is the young soldier who lost a leg in Iraq and the paratrooper who overcame partial paralysis to walk again. Then, there’s the retired Marine, who had three strokes, open heart surgery, and kidney problems after. Add financial devastation to the list, and yet he’s still struggling toward full physical recovery. The list goes on, including Biblical figures among the sufferers as well as Auschwitz survivors, drug addicts, and parents of autistic children. Parker’s point is there is hope for all.
Shaken to the Core is written from an unabashedly Christian perspective, and as such, might not appeal to a multi-denominational audience. However, despite one’s particular view of God, one nevertheless comes away with a sense of encouragement those who refused to let life’s setback’s overcome them. It is a book one may wish to revisit again and again.
Reviewed by: Barbara Peacock (2012)