September 25, 2012

The Loom

This book reminded me a little of the mini-series 'Roots'

It has great characters that the author brings to life, characters you feel deeply for and heartily cry for.

Only this story has a deeper meaning in which true freedom is found in Christ.

I remember watching "Roots" when I was nine years old. It had a great impact on me as a white child who knew nothing about slavery. It stirred something in me and I still have very strong feelings against prejudices based on skin color or nationality because of it. 

I believe we are all made in the image of God and each of us are individuals with diversity and beauty in His eyes.

You often hear people say God doesn't see color, but I think He does. He created color. And it's all amazingly and wonderfully beautiful to Him.

We are all amazingly and wonderfully beautiful to Him.

I loved how the author deals with this in the novel. Lydia, with fair skin and African blood, learns we are all slaves to something in this life and that God is the One who can truly set us free.
This is the story of Lydia, a young slave girl with light skin. She could easily pass as a white woman and sees it as a way to freedom. She is tore between her world as a slave, where she is loved by family, and a world where she could live out as a free woman.

The author, Shella Gillus, says of the basis of her book:

"I discovered that it was my great-grandmother who had walked away from her family. relatives claimed they had seen her living years later as a white woman up North, far from her home state of Mississippi. There wasn't much more I could learn, but this story became the basis of my book."

The loom, in this story, is really a backdrop and includes some very wonderful characters.

A loom: 

"a hand-operated or power-driven apparatus for weaving fabrics, containing harnesses, lay, reed, shuttles, treadles, etc."

A loom may have looked like this
Many elderly slaves, when they couldn't work the fields anymore, would often be placed in the loom house to weave quilts and such.

Here we met Lydia's grandmother, some friends of hers, and their heart wrenching stories.

Though the story was about Lydia, the author, also included bits and pieces of the lives and struggles of many other characters. Every few chapters would be from their point of view. I really felt this brought depth to the story and helped me feel for each character, even the unlikable ones. And I really disliked the things they said and did!

This story was also filled with symbolism. Symbol's of Christ as our Savior, symbols of His healing power, and symbols of good and evil. 

The writing in this book was beautiful. I was surprised it was the author's first novel. It had a few loose ends, but overall a very moving story.

In the afterwords of this book the author asks what scenes in her book were the most memorable. So I thought I'd share this one memorable scene with you.

Lydia has just married and her husband wants to give her a gift but doesn't have anything to give.

He says:

"All right. This here' - he lifted the twig - 'this is a stick, Lydia. It means I'm going to stick around.' She giggled. 'You see this rock? Now this rock means I'm going to rock you through life's hard time's.' She smiled. 'And these' - he held the leaves up to the candle and twirled them by their stems - 'these leaves are just what I'm doing. A man leaves his Father , his mother, to be one with his wife. Tonight, I leave it all behind."


'I know, I know. I wish I had something -'

'I love it.'

He smiled.

'I love it , John.'

'You love it?' He laughed and stroked her hair. 'You are too easy.'

'It was beautiful.'

'One day I'm going to have a real gift for you, Lydia.'

'I've already got it.'

I thought that was so beautiful. That's all a wife really wants. To be loved and cherished by her husband, the way Christ loves and cherishes the church. This is an example of how we should live out God's Word, so He will be perfected in us.

"But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him."            1John 2:5

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