Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Review: A Rush of Wings by Kristen Heitzmann

Noelle St. Claire has abruptly left her life of wealth and sophistication, leaving behind a stunned fiance and father that adored her. They have no idea where to look for Noelle and she has no idea where she’s headed—she just feels a desperate need to run. 
Using cash for anonymity and taking a bus west, Noelle finds herself at a ranch in a tiny mountain town of Colorado. She isn’t sure what to make of the ranch owner, Rick Spencer, who is rugged, introspective and full of faith in a God that Noelle doesn’t believe exists. Then there’s Rick’s brother, Morgan, who is just the opposite of Rick: charming, flirtatious and greatly lacking in faith of any sort. 
The brothers are equally as perplexed about the mysterious Noelle. They can tell she is running from something but she is tight-lipped about her past and who she is. She seems like a puzzle with pieces that play hide and seek. The truth is, even Noelle isn’t sure what it is that she has run away from. Sure, her fiance was a brute when he was angry, but that didn’t explain the sudden fragmented thoughts that caused panic attacks and threatened her sanity. 
Rick sees her as a vulnerable young woman in need of God’s love and healing; Morgan sees her as a fragile beauty that needs a good dose of his charisma. Noelle just wants to be left alone to find her way: thank-you-very-much.  
I thoroughly enjoyed Kristen Heitzmann’s latest novel, A Rush of Wings. An excellent read if you are looking for romance laced with tension and mystery. I’m impressed with the way the author wove the element of faith into the story, giving believable struggles and not offering pat answers. Yet the faith was deep and vivid, not watered down. I also enjoyed the stark contrast of the brothers, Rick and Morgan, and their banter with Noelle. Exceptional characters and lovely descriptions fill the pages of this novel. Looking forward to discovering what else Kristen Heitzmann has to offer!
 **In exchange for my honest review, Bethany House publishers has provided me with a copy of this book.

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At the Intersection of Creation and Evolution: A Dream

The alliterating story below is based on a dream I had several years ago. Please contact me for permission to reproduce.

Darkness devours me.

I am enveloped in emptiness.

Are my eyes open or are they closed? I strain against this shroud of night and still see nothing.

What is this place?

An image illuminates in front of me. A large, leafy tree streaks past and vanishes.

It deserts me to the darkness again.

In a moment, more images appear. A rapid succession of snapshots and thoughts clamor before my eyes and mingle in my mind.

I see seedlings. Several supple shoots have emerged before me and then swiftly stream away.

“The first trees on earth were not seedlings”, my mind observes. “They were not created as small insignificant saplings.”

That thought is rapidly replaced with a vision of a man.

He’s maybe 30; he is muscular and needs to shave.

He fades away.

In his place I see an infant.

A tiny bundle of pink skin upon a soft blanket flickers briefly in my brain.

“Man was created with age,” is the next statement I hear. “Adam did not begin his life as a baby, he began as a grown man.”

The voice seems like my own.

The thoughts do not.

Reeling before me now is a blur of rivers, forests, mountains and even layers of the earth. It is like a movie rushing rapidly before my retina.

The soundtrack of this epic is proclaiming a peculiarly plain concept:

“The earth was created with age. Creation and evolution are not in total opposition. There is a reason that science finds the earth to be quite old: it was made that way.”

Thoughts continue to tumble through my mind; pictures parade before me. I listen in amazement to what seems to be puzzlingly profound and yet rather apparent all at once.

“Adam was created as an adult. Trees and plants were made fully grown.”

I suddenly feel quite certain that, if I were to chop down some of the trees that had been spoken into existence, I would find a range of rings running through their trunks.

“The earth was brought to life with age built into it… just like Adam. He did not begin life as an infant. The earth came into being with what it would need to sustain the life that was created. It was old when it was young. The world was
made with maturity; it was also produced with purpose.”

These thoughts are thrilling. Why had I not seen this before? It seems so simple. Obtusely obvious. Had others not observed this correlation? If they had, why wasn’t it being candidly conveyed?

In the span of thirty seconds I have been ravaged by a radical revelation. I feel the weight of its worth resting on me; it is tantamount to tangible.

I am neither a theologian nor am I a scientist. I don’t claim that the ethics of evolution are completely compatible with the Bible’s account of creation. But certainly Science can come concurrent to creation and affirm our faith with facts.

Of course, the Omnipotent Originator of the Universe is exceedingly elusive to what our mind could ever envision. Above what science could ever extensively elucidate.

Accordingly, creation is confounding too. Each diverse discovery deems it more marvelous to grasp. Many scientists have reluctantly relented to the theory of Intelligent Design.

That’s why, alongside those facts, we also need faith.

Lying inexplicably at the intersection of those two essential elements is an exceptional endowment: the intermittent insight of our dreams.