Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Douglas Bond's Poem on Job

God's Servant Job: A Poem with a PromiseGod's Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise by Douglas Bond
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Douglas Bond consistently writes books that are blessings to me and to my family. I have enjoyed his historical fiction and his non-fiction books, and now I get to say that I have had the opportunity to enjoy his poetry. God’s Servant Job is a beautiful poem that is a blessing to read. Now before any poetry purists protest, I realize that Douglas Bond is no William Wordsworth (and by that I mean that Bond’s poem is not a convoluted piece of nature worship that makes me want to swiftly and repeatedly pass my head through a plate-glass window….sorry, Romantic Lit class has me on edge!), but it is a simple, memorable poem meant to bless children and parents alike.

And that is what it does. God’s Servant Job is a nice, simple, memorable poem for kids and (bonus!) for parents and teachers as well. It is illustrated beautifully, but not in a way that removes the focus from the story itself. Bond shepherds the reader beyond the trope-ridden desert of “Job was a good guy who got a raw deal and then, because of his good-guyness, got extra blessings at the end” into a land flowing with grace, Gospel, and “My-ways-are-higher-than-your-ways”/”Who-are-you-oh-man” humility - the promised land of healthy, beneficial, God-honoring biblical interpretation where Christians are called to reside.

One criticism I have (I’ll let the reader decide if it is big or small, genuine or nit-picky…also if I am just a big baby) is about the drawings of Satan. I think, in the beginning for sure, that the Satan character is too attractive. He looks cool, really. I know that Satan masquerades as an angel of light and manifests himself in ways that are attractive in order to tempt and lure us feeble, sinful creatures into rebellion. But, God does not, nor do the angels, see him through any sort of veil. When he approaches the throne, we as readers should see him through the eyes of holy beings, and he should be as vile and disgusting as he truly is. And why the pipe?!? “We have to show that the devil is sinful….I know, give him some tobacco!” I guess that is easier than having him dance in carrying a glass of wine after seeing a movie. :-\ I don’t think that the medieval cliché of the pointy-tailed and horned evil one is the route to go, but I am not sure that a fundamentalist cliché of evil is the route to go either.

So, while I pack a bowl of Dunhill Elizabethan blend into my beautiful briar and finish this review, I will stop being unnecessarily thin-skinned long enough to point out that I have no hesitation recommending this book to anyone and that I look forward to sharing it time and again with my boys. It is a beautiful presentation of a story that, in all honesty, gives many of us trouble. I praise God again for a Douglas Bond book that will be a repeated source of encouragement, comfort, and edification in my home and beyond.

*Side note-I saw ISBNs in the book for epub, mobi, and paperback formats. I am interested to see how this transfers to a digital format. Also, I am a little disappointed that it doesn’t look like this is coming out with a hard cover. I think a board book of this would be a blessing and a really good Christmas gift this upcoming holiday season. This is a book to return to, so I hope that hardback is an option in the near future. Either way, it would make a great gift!

I received a review copy of this book in pdf format from the publisher.

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