Daisy Chain

"I want to be authentic in my relationship with God.
 To be authentic in my relationships with my husband and children. 
To be authentic in my parenting.
 To be authentic in my friendships. 
I want to lead my children to be authentic. I want them to have authentic relationships with God. I want them to make right decisions and do the right thing because they are walking with the Lord and want to please Him...not because of what "people" will see or think.
 I want to make progress in making our home an "authentic haven" both as a refuge for our family, and as an opportunity to practice hospitality to others."

Those words are from my post earlier this year on my 2009 "One Little Word"...Authentic.   For several years, God has been making me more and more aware of the importance of authenticity in every area of our lives...and convicting me of my own need to be totally authentic. 
Authenticity is an important topic for Mary DeMuth as well.   She is the author of Authentic Parenting in a Post-Modern Culture, a book that is currently on my wish list. :)  Her newest book, Daisy Chain, tackles the issue of authenticity in the family and the church from a fictional standpoint.  

13-year-old Daisy Marie Chance has disappeared.  Her best friend, Jed Pepper, harbors a secret...he's convinced he is responsible for her disappearance.  As the search for Daisy goes on, Jed finds himself seeking his own answers...about Daisy's disappearance, about the people around him and the secrets they harbor, and about the mysterious redemptive plan of God.  

 Mary DeMuth knows about secrets.  The inspiration for this book, and the trilogy of which it is a part, came from a friend's difficult story of his life behind the closed doors of an outwardly "picture perfect" family.   And Mary has had her own journey from secrets to authenticity.  She says:

"Learning to be honest with myself and others about my own shortcomings—and, oh, they are aplenty—has made me a better Christ-follower in the long run. It’s not about appearing holy. It’s about being holy from the inside out. The only route to that kind of abundance is honest, excruciating disclosure with trusted friends and the God who sees it all."

God has given me such an urgency for the kind of authenticity Mary describes~in my life and in our family.  We have seen at close range the devastation that can come from "appearing holy" without "honest, excruciating disclosure with trusted friends and the God who sees it all."  As I wrote in that "One Little Word" post...

"We have seen "up close and personal" the dangers of allowing oneself to live behind a mask...looking good to others, and yet allowing evil a stronger and stronger foothold on the inside until it finally explodes into a firestorm that singes everyone in its vicinity. "

Jed sees those dangers and experiences that firestorm in his own family.  He also glimpses God's glory and love in very unexpected places.  DeMuth lists the following themes in Jed's story:

The importance (and elusiveness) of authenticity.
The devastation of maintaining and keeping family secrets.
Redemption comes from surprising people.
Feeling guilty doesn’t always equal reality.
True friendship involves sacrifice.

Daisy Chain is not only an excellent read...with a plot that kept me reading into the night more than once...it is also a poignant reminder of the importance of authenticity in our lives and in our families, and the devastation that can result when we allow secrecy to overcome it. 

I'm already waiting impatiently for the second installment to the Defiance Texas Trilogy. :)


Choate Family said...

Nice to catch up with you again after being out of cyberspace for so long. I think we are cut out of the same cloth!

Mary DeMuth said...

Thank you so much for your review. I really appreciate it.

Authentic is a good word, hard to live, but worth it.

rolicreps said...

Very convicting. Thanks for sharing. I've been convicted of this very thing lately. I enjoyed stopping by your blog.