Paperback, 128pp, Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ, UK. Price £5.00. ISBN 978-1-84625-199-3.
For over thirty years the author has been a pastor at a Reformed Baptist Church in Crawley and it is from this background that he writes. In his role as a pastor he has been involved for many years in trying to bring a measure of comfort to the bereaved, and it is that experience which has prompted and equipped him to address this subject. Moreover, he has observed closely two women, one of whom was his mother-in-law, whose experience of coping with the loss of their husbands taught him much and left a deep impression on him. He writes from a strong conviction that, true to His promises, God will care for the widow; and that it is from the scriptures that she will draw strength and comfort.
The book consists of eighteen short chapters, together with endorsements, introduction, endnotes and scripture references. Each chapter begins with a quotation from Scripture, and from these quotations the author draws lessons and adds counsel, encouragement, and practical advice. Although the book is directed towards widows who are believers, the author does not miss an opportunity to confront unbelieving widows with the challenge of the gospel. He is well aware of the pitfalls which may be encountered when writing on such a subject as this. ‘Singing songs to a heavy heart’ calls for sincerity, sympathy, and tact; these qualities, together with the author’s earnestness, are clearly revealed in this work. It is a book in which widowers also may find help. Additionally, the wider church will be reminded of its duty and opportunity to minister to a needy and often neglected group. While, because of changes in state support, financial pressures on widows may not be as acute as they once were, an ageing population means that the problem of loneliness is an increasing one. Our involvement in preaching and teaching should not allow us to neglect what James describes as the mark of ‘pure religion and undefiled’.
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, England for this review]