Welcome to the fourth discussion of the Christy read-along! ♥ If this is the first you've heard of the read-along, you can view the schedule in this invitation post.
Today we'll be discussing chapters 19-25. If you've already read these chapters, you can share your thoughts in the comments section below or in your own post! (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to the Christy read-along tag.) If you still need to catch up on the reading, you're welcome to check in whenever you're ready. :) We're happy to have you join us whenever you can!
~ ~ ~
Christy: Chapters 19-25
Discussion format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and three questions to answer for each week's reading
- "Beware the chasms in thy life, David. Sooner or later thee will fall down in the chasm thyself."
- "The Christian religion is not a thing—like a piece of paper—that we can tuck away in the cubbyhole of a rolltop desk and then put the lid down and lock it. Christianity is a life and contains the germ of life in itself."
- The sky overhead was an inverted bowl with a pale blue lining; over the far mountains, rose faded to peach, with tiny gray clouds looking as if they had been given their marching orders to tramp as majestically across a twilight sky as small clouds can. "Living in the middle of beauty like this," I said, "we've no call to have puny ideas about God."
- "Christy," his voice was gentle, "I did not ask you what Alice Henderson believes or for a resume of her latest talk to her Bible class. I wanted to know why Christianity is important to you, what you believe."
Well, this was a very interesting section and rather different from what precedes it. Not as uplifting as last week's, but more suspenseful and challenging. It's as if last week's section was showing all the ways Christy had been encouraged and inspired, and now we're seeing her (and David) having her faith and grit put to the test in very stark ways.
And really, this section centers a lot around David and his reactions and relationships. It starts off with classroom trouble for Christy and escalates to violence, cruelty, and the revelation of an unlawful way of life some of the people of the Cove abide by. David's work ethic and strength are challenged, his horse is sheared, and he finds himself tangled up in the whole blockading affair as he preaches against it and tries to shut it down.
I hated seeing the women feel so helpless as their husbands treated David unkindly at the working. And I confess I'm torn about David's sermon... At first, I found myself underlining several of his comments about faith and the church and admiring his forthrightness. But I also agree with Christy and even Dr. MacNeill about David's heavy-handedness, the lack of compassion and complete understanding about the situation.
Sin should be directly addressed, but perhaps lumping the whole congregation together as the target of his harsh words might not have been the best route. He makes some good points, and I think the people were probably aware in advance that the sermon was going to be about an unpleasant topic. But I guess I'm torn about David's methods. As Dr. MacNeill says, "All I know is, when you accuse people, a wall goes up. Then the last thing they're interested in is changing their view or their actions" (p. 299 in my copy). Forthrightness is good and something necessary, but repentance needs the hope of grace and mercy.
Dr. MacNeill is not necessarily "hero material" at this point, but I do appreciate the last chapter of the section and how he challenges Christy to think critically about her faith and own it. I found it a good prompt for myself too. :) I'm curious how Christy might grow in this way in time.
Answer any or all three of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post!
1. Did this section make you want to read faster (because of the suspense) or slow down (because of the heavy topics)?
2. Imagine yourself in one of these tense situations: hearing Uncle Bogg's story at the working, listening to David's sermon, or coming upon Prince in his sad condition. How would you respond?
3. If you could help the McHones in even a small way, what would you do?
Join us next Friday for our fifth discussion!
*Catherine Marshall, Christy (New York: Avon, 2006), 267, 288, 305, 326.