, November 04, 2011
(view all comments by Madley93)
A number of years ago while browsing in a book store, (one of my most favourite activities), I noticed a book: “God Uses Cracked Pots”. As I stopped and picked up the book, (who could resist that title?), I noticed the author’s name was Patsy Clairmont, at the time not an author with whom I was familiar. I would come to realize it was my lack of knowledge that was at issue, not the popularity of the author! However, that day, I was more caught on the title, than on the author. I flipped through it, checked out the cover, and decided it was not for me ��" as it turns out, not my best decision! I am now on the lookout for this book.
The author’s website, (www.patsyclairmont.com), shows that the book “God Uses Cracked Pots” has been re-released, and I think I know at least one customer! My memory does not give me a synopsis of the book, but the title is drawing me in!!
With all that said, this review is not about Patsy Clairmont’s book “God Uses Cracked Pots”; it is about her book “Stained Glass Hearts”. I received “Stained Glass Hearts” at no charge through the Booksneeze Book Review Program, which means I will be also posting this review on their website.
“Stained Glass Hearts” is what I would call, a pretty title; and the book cover is very pretty, in colour and in design. I would come to find out that this book is so much more than pretty. With a book subtitle of “Seeing Life from a Broken Perspective”, I quickly learned that, all prettiness set aside, this book would have meaningful words to share. Patsy Clairmont would have meaningful words to share. And Patsy did.
At the end of each chapter, Patsy has what she calls ‘The Art Gallery’.
‘The Art Gallery’ consists of a variety of interactive and reflective topics for the reader. For example, at the end of Chapter 3, ‘The Art Gallery’ consists of a Museum reference for lookup on the internet, a Poem, a Prayer, and a Music suggestion that can be found on iTunes. These elements link together, and combine with the Chapter topic itself, bringing the reader to a personal place on the road to light and redemption. The place of light and redemption ��" on which Patsy has a personal focus, and on which she has written previous books. Patsy’s ‘Art Gallery’ was excellent. I know because I found myself pulled toward the interaction ��" and did follow-up that pull!
The chapters in “Stained Glass Hearts” focus on directing the readers to find out what is true about themselves, where the darkness is, where the light is, and how all that must come together to be where God is, and where He wants the readers to be. While that sounds rather serious and somber, Patsy has a gift for making her reader feel good along the way. As a new reader of Patsy’s work, I found her tone to be serious, yet light. Early on in the book, Patsy herself states that this book exposes the solemn side of her personality. I’m not sure that I would describe what I saw of Patsy as solemn, but maybe that is because I am a new fan.
As you might expect from the title, “Stained Glass Hearts”, the emotions of the human heart are explored in the chapters. Ranging from darkness to light ��" just like a stained glass window, (to paraphrase Patsy). Patsy lets us into her own heart, her own time of deep darkness, and her journey out of that darkness. I always think authors are so brave when such personal emotion is exposed in such a public forum as a book. And Patsy is one such author.
Patsy brings us into her family life, time with her friends, and times when she goes to work, speaking at conferences around the world, mainly focused on events sponsored by Women of Faith, an organization Patsy has been a member of since its very beginnings. (Information can be found at: www.womenoffaith.com).
Patsy Clairmont’s generous sense of humour is spread throughout this book. Patsy reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously, but to also honour and accept who we are, and where we are, on our journey of life.
As the book progresses we, the readers, are given many opportunities to share stained glass experiences with the author ��" looking through something, or at something, as though we were looking at or through stained glass.
I am not a big ‘nature girl’, (that is probably an understatement), yet one of the chapters that most vividly caught my attention was Patsy’s chapter titled: ‘Stained Glass Nature’. I learned, or re-learned, a number of things from Patsy’s viewpoint of ‘Stained Glass Nature’. One of the biggest is my tendency to overlook the beauty of nature. I learned that one of the reasons I overlook nature’s beauty is that I do not take enough time to stop and pay attention to the beauty around me.
This, in my personal belief system, means I am not stopping and paying enough attention to God. It also means I am not really participating in the world around me; rather I am just moving through it with some unknown agenda of my own.
For me, that has been one of the clearest themes in this Patsy Clairmont book: stop and look around ourselves, through or with a stained glass window, at all the broken pieces, at all the little pieces, at all that is us, and at all that is given to us in this world.
Stop and appreciate, stop and renew, stop and see the moment.
For a person new to the world of Christian non-fiction, I think this book would be an excellent beginning. Free of deep theological words and intense phrases, this book will appeal to individuals at the early stages oftheir faith journey. For the same reasons, this is also a book I would recommend to someone well along in their faith journey, but someone wishing to take stock of where they have been and where they have now come. Not only did I find “Stained Glass Hearts” to be a good Christian writing, it was also a pleasure to read, and to review.