The Face of Heaven
One of life’s amazing ironies is how the smallest moments can bring about the biggest changes. Author Murray Pura takes us to just such a moment in 1861 that starts with a simple stroll to a barn. In The Face of Heaven, we meet young Lyndel Keimin of Lancaster, Pennsylvania who is living an Amish life on her family’s quiet farmland.
As the nation descends into a great struggle for its purpose and soul, the nightmare of the Civil War and its causes seem so very distant to Lyndel. That is, until one quiet morning when she finds two frightened, hungry runaway slaves hiding in her barn.
This forces a difficult decision onto Lyndel, helping the runaways or reporting them. Hiding the slaves was against the law, but turning them in to the local authorities would return them to the horror of slavery only after they received extreme punishment. Caught between the obeying the Law of God and obeying the Law of Man, Lyndel turns to her brother Levi and his friend Nathaniel for help. Soon, forces much larger than they can imagine soon sweep them away as they are engulfed by the conflicts of home and of country.
Pura takes us on a journey across multiple fabrics where faith, loyalties, and obedience are all put to the test on personal and spiritual levels. The Face of Heaven wonderfully throws us into a familiar struggle in which we seek to please this world, but also seek to serve the will of God.
Cleverly toiling through local and national conflict, Mura walks us down this road during a time when our country was coming apart at the seams. A time when faith abounded as much as hopelessness and uncertainty, much like today. This story weaves a wonderful trail that serves as both storyteller and instructor.
In this rich story, the lens can be placed on our own lives during those times when we are at ‘war’ between the wants of this world and the wants of God. Murray Pura offers us a chance to see how hope and faith as our only bearings can keep us walking in the promises of our Heavenly Father to overcome lives challenges.