In Live more simply/ Purpose

Commentary on “A Severe Gentleness”

Here is a commentary on my book “A Severe Gentleness” by one of my readers:Cover on book

This little book is best read slowly.  Something readers will find difficult to do as the story is a compelling mix of the birth of a ministry and observations about the challenges that followed.  Readers will recognize similar challenges in their own lives.

The Lord’s Prayer has been a guiding light to the author for over 20 years and the prayer lends both understanding and encouragement for each step of this amazing account.

Set in Africa

Set against a background of bringing hope into rural villages in HIV torn Africa, the book’s many anecdotes will enlighten readers from all walks of life.  Bits of hard earned wisdom dot the pages.  Gaining cooperation, forging successful partnerships, using money as a tool, and dealing with bureaucracy are just part of the story.  The tale is told by a seasoned writer in a manner that lets the reader feel the emotions of the people in the story.  Experience the feeling of bewilderment Michelle faced when entering a village with the intent of helping only to be spurned by a child.  What happened? 

Allowing your life’s work to find you is the premise behind the story.  A true story that trumps fiction.  Adopting a responding way of life and taking a next step propel the story forward.  The author moves between cultures of affluence and severe poverty in a quest to break the cycle of HIV that has devastated an entire generation leaving only the old and very young to cope.

The human heart is universal

Reading Michelle’s journey is bound to touch a nerve.  Feelings of anger, anguish, hope, and understanding are found in these pages.  When you want to know how it is to travel a path, ask someone who has been there.  This account is set in Africa, but the human heart is universal.  Prejudice, greed, and self interest respect no boundaries.  Readers encounter officials that put credibility to test and find that judgment comes from unexpected places. Unlike most businesses the process of decision making must be done while removing any expectations for self gain.  The author looks into her own heart and holds up a mirror for readers to question their own motives when choosing actions to help others.

Setting this story apart is how the experiences it describes and the truths learned seem equally valuable in other settings.  The miracle that happens when something turns a heart from feeling disgust to one of compassion can change a life.  This may not have happened to many readers of this book, but knowing it is real keeps the door open.

For a child in rural Africa to have food daily and be taught a livelihood under the care of loving leaders requires a severe gentleness.  Reading how one person’s life’s work is making a difference in Africa may move readers to action in their own lives.  This story is a message of hope through prayer.  A very disturbing and yet satisfying read.

You can download a free copy of my book here.  I ask only one thing – if you enjoy it, would you consider recommending to a friend that they download their own free copy at www.michelletessendorf.com 

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