I’m still working through how I’ll handle reviewing more biographical works. This book is half biography and half counselling since it is written six months after a family has lost their youngest child—Stacey. Stacey died in tragic circumstances at age thirteen. This book contains the reflections of her dad, mum, siblings, and grandparents on their loss.
The book is short and simple. I read it in a few hours. It contains a presentation of the gospel as well as some helpful reflections on how to deal with such a tragedy. It is therefore a helpful tool for those who may be suffering a similar trial.
It is admirable that the author/s do not try to put on a mask and give pat answers. They are honest about their struggles and the difficulty of facing such a horrible situation. Their honesty makes this book useful.
This book unfortunately places a heavy emphasis on rewards and service, advising the grieving person to keep serving in between the times of open grieving as a means of coping. Understood properly, there is some value in this advice. Still, there is significant danger in just moving forward without taking time to face what happened. If you’re looking for sound counsel on this element of such a situation, this book is probably not the place to find it. But if you’re able to sift through some things and put things in a broader theological context, there is some rich and meaningful fellowship to be had with this grieving father.
In one chapter, Wininger quotes the commentator Matthew Henry on Psalm 126: “Weeping must not hinder sowing.” The way he draws this out, challenging the bereaved to see the tragedy as an opportunity to put a megaphone to their life message, is wonderful. Indeed, it is the stated goal of this book to do just that in his own tragic circumstances.
Grace to you.