Lisa, torn between longing and shame, reaches up and wipes her slimy hand over Gaal’s pure white robe. Cringing, she glances back and forth from hand to robe. Astonishingly, the filthiness leaves her hand yet Gaal’s robe remains completely unsoiled.
White captures her confusion and joy: “What had happened to the filthiness? Was Gaal a person who couldn’t be dirtied? Did dirt burn away to nothing when it touched him? The more (Lisa) thought, the more she marveled. Gaal was not just clean. He was cleanness itself. And the more she marveled, the more her heart sang its wild song.”
John White weaves together many such stories about the land he calls “Anthropos,” and each verbal portrait opens our eyes and penetrates our hearts. We learn deep truths from his words. About what? About intimacy with Jesus. For Gaal depicts Jesus … and Lisa depicts us.
Rarely do we find a “children’s story” that so skillfully puts spiritual reality in such tangible form. White is a master at that craft. I’ve read this book to our kids, read it (several times) myself, and each time come away surprised, warmed, and tasting joys I’d not yet met. I keep a copy in my office and sometimes read its stories to people with whom I counsel. It’s that good.
The Tower of Geburah – by John White
[© Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States of America, 1978]
Book Review: © Lynne Fox, 2016