7 Comments

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this book! I hadn’t thought about Elliot’s reserve, but it is true. She’s a staunch New Englander and not given to being very emotional, but she does mention the impact in some of her other books (this was her first one, so it may be that she hadn’t become comfortable with her writing voice yet, or maybe, as you said, since she was writing about several lives she refrained from saying much about her own then). One of my favorite passages in a book is in The Savage My Kinsman when she takes up beginning with her widowhood and quotes William Cullen Bryant’s “To a Waterfowl” and applies it to herself:

    Whither, ‘midst falling dew,
    While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
    Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
    Thy solitary way?

    There is a Power whose care
    Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,–
    The desert and illimitable air,–
    Lone wandering, but not lost.

    Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven
    Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
    Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
    And shall not soon depart.

    He, who, from zone to zone,
    Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
    In the long way that I must tread alone,
    Will lead my steps aright.

    “The long way that I must tread alone” gets me every time. I’ve loved this poem ever since.

    I saw just this morning that the Kindle store has several “Heroes of the Faith” Biographies on sale for 99 cents, and Jim Elliot is one (http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Elliot-Missionary-Martyr-ebook/dp/B00CCTVAIS/ref=sr_1_17?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372681911&sr=1-17&keywords=heroes+of+the+faith) (Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, and others are 99 cents). I haven’t read that one in particular.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – on one hand I didn’t have a copy of this book or funds to buy it this month and on the other, I was scared to read it. : ) I may have to add it back to my tbr pile. I have loved what I have read of her other writings because she is so plain-spoken (non-emotional) and highly emotional me needs that some (a lot!) of the time. : )

  3. I read “Through Gates of Splendor” as a a college student, but my favorite is actually “Shadow of the Almighty”, which just focuses on Jim Eliot and gets much more into his early life story. It’s one I own and have read a few times.

    Another book by Elisabeth Elliot I really liked is “A Chance to Die”, which is a biography of Amy Carmichael. That’s another one I read in college that I would like to read again some time.

  4. You are right – Elliot does have something of a distant story-telling style but I think she explains why in her conclusion. This is an interesting and inspiring story, yes and absolutely! But it’s ONE incident and I like that she is not attempting to put any of them the men or their widows on a pedestal.

    I also like how you (and Shonya and others) have pointed out that the book is encouraging to us in our day-to-day living. True, that!

    Loved hearing your thoughts and, once again, I’m glad you read along!

  5. Yes, yes, I was also struck by the “mundane, tedium of daily life” and yes, I think it does compare to our mission field as homeschooling moms. 🙂 I really was blessed by this book.

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