31/05/2006

Lost Without You: The Story of Noor (by Kate McCallum)

'Lost Without You: the story of Noor' is a Christian biography, published in India, about a Lebanese girl known as Noor. It's written 'as told to' Kate McCallum; we bought it in Lebanon and I read it because I've met Noor although I don't know her well.

The story opens with Noor in the airport in Cyprus, where she has come to do a six-month Christian discipleship course. The picture is of a naturally friendly and strong-willed girl, who argues with the officials and is determined to follow the path she believes to be right. After that one scene, we're taken back to her early life.

Her story is a horrific one, though told fairly unemotively. Reasonably happy as a small child, her life changes drastically when she is four years old, and sees her mother brutally killed. From then on, her gentle older brother is her only refuge. Traumatised by what they've seen, they are first sent to a psychiatric hospital, but nobody knows how to handle them. They move to grandparents, but as one parent was nominally a Christian and the other Druze, all the grandparents consider the children defiled, and their cruel words stay with Noor for many years. She believes herself useless, and wonders why she was ever born.

As she grows up, she meets real Christians who show her love and care, but although she discovers God for herself, the book is not preachy. I suppose the story is a bit like that of 'Cinderella' in plot, but there's no glitz in the new life. As she grows and matures, she must learn to forgive those who have wounded her in the past, and there are times when she goes back rather than forward for a while.

The writing felt a bit stilted in places, perhaps because English is not Noor's first language, but it was well worth reading. Even though I knew the ending - foreshadowed in the first chapter - I found it difficult to put down once I had started. It's undoubtedly a testimony to the way God can work in even the most difficult of circumstances.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I met the young lady tonight whose story is told in this book. To hear the words from her mouth as she told her testimony is an experience that cannot be put into words. I hope you'll join me in praying for this young lady as God is preparing her for such a time as this.