Sunday, October 16, 2011
A Heart for Freedom ~ Book Review
Chai Ling opens herself up in a daring, courageous step to share her story. It's not just the story of the Tienanmen Square Protests, but of a girl's growing up in a country about which I honestly know little. I do remember the news reports of the incident, and I have heard little bits of information about China's policies from time to time. This story opened my eyes to the real people behind the statistics.
I was engaged in Chai Ling's story from the start. Giving the details of her upbringing gave me greater understanding of the depths of her struggles. A familiar need to be acknowledged from family and culture takes shape in a literal foreign place, yet resonates with that same longing in all of us. I felt as if I could relate, yet my world is so far from hers. I soaked up the new understanding, from at least one perspective, of the Tienanmen Protests. In doing, I felt keenly aware of my apathy toward China; convicted, really. This story gave real faces to the story and I realized their struggles continue. This was a true page-turner. I wanted to know what happened to Chai Ling, but also felt that I had gained a valuable history lesson. I've also come to a deeper understanding of what the "one-child" culture can do, specifically to women. I can't imagine being without my siblings, and I can't imagine not having the right to decide about my own reproductive rights.
As a Human Rights Advocate, I love the stories that propel me to action. A sad story with nowhere to go is a hopeless tale, but Chai Ling weaves hope into her story and finally reveals where that hope comes from. Her faith in Jesus is an encouragement to me, but her action in faith is what makes me want to know her. She is a true testament to what Living Faith looks like. She takes what she can and gives it to Jesus to "feed the Five Thousand." Her revelations of what pressures the government place on women are atrocious, and it struck my heart.
I received this book from the publisher to review, but would buy it in a heartbeat. This is a story that needs to be heard and shared. I recommend it, highly, as well as her website: allgirlsallowed.com