Monday, June 25, 2012
Book Review: The God Box
This memoir tells of Mary Lou Quinlan's discovery of her mother's numerous God boxes. She always knew that her mother placed their concerns in her prayer boxes, which she called her "God box." She didn't know how many of these boxes they would discover upon her mother's death. The slips of paper within the boxes contained tidbits of information and concerns over the years, becoming a sort of memoir all on its own (a neat way to relive the cares and concerns of life gone by).
While I appreciated the book's emphasis on the mother's devout belief in the power of prayer, it didn't really seem like the author ever came around to the same belief herself. She continues to remain somewhat neutral about the practice of writing out prayer requests. Given the fact that her mother was Catholic, many of the prayers weren't even addressed to God, but rather to deceased saints who are believed to hold some sort of power over our lives. I understand that this is merely a difference of religious perspective, but I think this colored my opinion of the book.
I think the best thing I gleaned from the book was the importance of giving your requests to God and then letting them go. The author's mother would tell them that if they were going to continue to worry over what she had placed in the box, she would have to fish it out and give it back to them because they obviously thought they could handle it better than God. This was a worthwhile lesson to revisit.
The writing was easy to follow and read like a story, but the author's own life didn't really seem to undergo any change. I believe she's hoping her mother's practice will inspire others to pick up this habit. I don't think I'm likely to begin writing out my prayers on scraps of paper and storing them in humble containers. However, I will continue to pursue an active prayer life, attempting to turn over to the Lord even the tiniest concern that crosses my path and then leave it at His feet.