Reviewed by Phee Paradise
She Did What She Could by Elisa Morgan
Pixels, this is my first review of a non-fiction book. She Did What She Could is a meditation on an event in Jesus’ life and a call to action. Shortly before His arrest, Mary anointed Jesus with oil during a banquet. Morgan uses Jesus’ words about Mary’s act, “She did what she could,” to challenge her readers to acts of service and compassion. Mary used the gift she had, in the available moment, to express her love for Jesus. We should do the same.
The book cleverly emphasizes the different words in the title, using each word to challenge our assumptions. First we’re led to understand the significance of Mary’s act, then we’re asked, “What if we did what we could?” The meditations are brought home through brief stories of people who did what they could. The tone is chatty and easy to read and I was reminded that there are lots of things I could be doing to make a difference.
The author tells the story of Mary and Jesus with rich imagery. She describes the scene and tells us what she imagines Mary was thinking. But as she makes her points, she seems to read too much into this incident from the Scripture. I read it with my Bible open, checking to see what the passages actually said and what part of her descriptions came from her imagination. The book is also a little repetitive. The message could have been communicated in half the space. After six chapters telling me Mary did what she could and six chapters asking what I could do, I felt I had gotten the point.
If you believe you can’t make much difference in the world, this book will encourage and challenge you. It will give you a little push toward action.
Pros: Imaginative meditation on a passage of scripture with a good message and challenge.
Cons: Repetitive and lacking support for some of the assertions about the passage.
About the Book
She Did What She Could: Five words of Jesus that will change your life by Elisa Morgan (Tyndale House Publishers)
Most of us care. We really do. We care about poverty and injustice, about orphans and the sick. And yet, weighed down by the everyday load of bringing home a paycheck, putting food on the table, and taking care of our family demands, we question our ability to make a difference. Bombarded by one celebrity help-the-world-athon after another, we shrug our shoulders in futility and do absolutely nothing. Enter SDWSC. Based on the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume in Mark 14, SDWSC provides overwhelmed, yet service-seeking, significance-starved readers a realistic response to the seemingly unmeetable needs around us.
Five letters. Unthinkable power.
Most of us care. We really do. We care about poverty and injustice, about orphans and the sick. And yet, weighed down by the everyday tasks of bringing home a paycheck, putting food on the table, and shuttling kids around, we question our ability to make a difference. Bombarded by one celebrity help-the-world-athon after another, we shrug our shoulders in futility and do absolutely nothing.
But what if we did . . .
Just one thing.
The thing that matters more than anything else in that one solitary moment.
What if we did just that?
Five letters that have the power to change your life, free your spirit, and transform your world!
About the Author
Elisa Morgan is a nationally recognized speaker and the author of more than fifteen books, including the best–selling What Every Mom Needs and Mom's Devotional Bible. Elisa has served as CEO of MOPS International since 1989. She is also the publisher of MomSense and FullFill magazines and is a frequent contributor to Christianity Today. Elisa is married to Evan (vice president of strategic development for RBC Ministries, known internationally for Our Daily Bread, and founder of christiancourses.com). They have two grown children and one grandchild and live in Centennial, Colorado.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Reviewed by Phee Paradise