Just finished reading Sojourner, again ...and appreciated it as much or more than I did the first time. I read it the year it was published (2003) and though I remembered it was good, had forgotten what a masterful job Terry does capturing the reactions of humans under pressure, and just how many issues she tackles through her characters and storyline. I am in awe of how she can weave events, emotional and mental struggles, and Biblical truth --all into a fascinating story through a myriad of personality types, and world views. It absolutely amazes me! In the nine years since I last read Sojourner ...world events, and the current political climate have only made it appear more relevant! I love fiction that imparts wisdom and insight into human nature...and Terry Craig's books definitely fall into that category.
Sojourner is like many second books of great trilogies ...a bridge bearing the core conflict of the narrative. Gatekeeper (book 1) captures the gathering storm in America, Sojourner takes you through the darkest part of the storm, and Swordsman (book 3) contains the aftermath and resolution. Sojourner is not an "easy" or "feel good" read if you are looking for "happy" people living perfect lives apart from trial ...or are believing America and "life as we know it" are going to go on forever ...but it is inspirational, enjoyable, and encouraging despite the troubling events it portrays. It's inspirational in the way it allows you to see people choosing to surrender their agendas to God's ...willing to sacrifice their vision for His --and see that in so-doing-- God's bigger plan prevails. It is enjoyable because the character's personalities, interactions and humor make you laugh, cringe, or get angry ...and see aspects of yourself in many of their endearing and/or ignoble traits ...enabling you to ask yourself if a particular belief system, thought pattern, or behavior is really Biblical or profitable...whether it is a quality or attitude that needs to be cultivated or thwarted. And it's encouraging to see how God can (and will) work even through crisis, take care of His people and help them navigate through difficult circumstances.
Terry Craig's entire trilogy gives you a window through which end time events can be viewed as they might play out...and permit a person to submit certain preconceived ideas, interpretations or attitudes to the Lord and let His Spirit and Word point out any misconceptions, imbalances, distortions, or deceptions the world (or compromised church) is selling. I believe it fits within the framework of Biblical prophecy while demonstrating that our choices do make a difference and (apart from certain divinely revealed timetables, specifically outlined events, named nations or kingdoms) that we are not simply automated actors in a cosmic play incapable of choosing whom we will serve or exempt from reaping the consequences of those actions. She does a fantastic job of exposing the inconsistencies of New Age ideology, and the pitfalls of focusing on dates or trendy teachings or interpretations of Scripture. Through her characters, she illustrates the rewards of having an abiding knowledge of God and His overall Word ...how listening and being faithful in the small things can have huge outcomes. It makes you think about how you might react in certain situations and decide in advance (with God's enabling) how you would hope to respond. I love, too, how Terry shows the lies people tell themselves to excuse or justify their behavior or compromises. (We are all, unfortunately, so good at that!)
I am really glad I decided to re-visit Sojourner. It was well worth the time and so appropriate for this very moment in history! It enabled me to see all that is happening now from a higher vantage point...and has prepared me to face those things which I really sense are on the immediate horizon. Now on to re-read Swordsman!
Gatekeeper, Book I in the Fellowship of the Mystery trilogySWORDSMAN, Book III in the Fellowship of the Mystery trilogy