Who doesn’t love a good story? Everyone loves a good story. That is probably one of the reasons we scour the internet daily, quickly glancing over an article to see if a good story exists in it. Or is that just me? Regardless, I am here to tell you about the book I picked up to read – Faith Under Fire: Dramatic Stories of Christian Courage by Matthew Archbold. The title alone grabbed me and pulled me to the book (and couch) and had me devouring it in one evening.
There are 18 true stories in the book, divided into sections titled “Unforgettable Stories of Forgiveness,” “Inspiring Stories about Loving Strangers,” “Courageous Stories about Trusting God,” “Memorable Stories of Self-sacrifice,” and “Dramatic Stories of Courage.” Are you salivating yet? True, wonderful stories which often “go misunderstood or untold because nothing so confuses the world as much as an act of love. “ (Oh! Don’t get me started on the negativity of the media!)
And while they are wonderful, positive, uplifting true stories, their true value lies in how they inspire the reader to stand firm in their faith, to get off the couch and start making a difference, to be the salt and the light! The stories are about those individuals who at a specific moment in time lived out their discipleship of Christ. If we are honest with ourselves, we can sometimes stumble on living out the Sermon on the Mount and having examples to jump start our merciful acts is helpful, to say the least.To give you an example, we have all heard about the mass shooting of Amish schoolgirls in Nickel Mines, PA. We may have even heard about the Amish forgiving the killer and might have even been questioning our own limits of forgiveness. But what Mr. Archbold does in this book is give you the details such as how quickly forgiveness was offered, what did that look like to the killer’s wife and children, and what were the heroic last actions of one of the little schoolgirls. This and all of the other 17 stories were deeply researched to get to the heart of the actions – love. As the author states in his introduction, “So when I’m asked what this book is about, I’ll say it’s about love because love changes lives, and only love can save the world. And these are stories of love.”