Book Review: The emancipation of Robert Sadler

This is an amazing book about a man born in 1911 in South Carolina. He was sold into slavery not once but twice, by his own father at the age of 5. This despite the fact that the emancipation proclamation had already been issued many years earlier (about 1862).

The book takes us through his experiences in slavery from the age of 5 till 14 when he escaped. Then on to his life as a free man. He struggles with freedom and at one point even decides to go back, finding the free world too difficult and unfamiliar to navigate. He eventually becomes a preacher and lives a life of great faith, helping others.

What I found so captivating about the book is how it tells the story of Robert and God throughout. The reader is able to see how, through people and events in his life, God was slowly drawing him, showing him he cared. And how these events eventually lead to Robert becoming a man of great faith.

The book is very well written and easy to read, I could barely put it down. This despite the fact that I was reading it for the second time. I first read it about 20 years ago, a borrowed copy from a friend. I was reminded of it after watching the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of how William Wilberforce struggled over many years to get the bill outlawing slavery passed in the British parliament. I googled the title online and was pleasantly surprised to find it available on Amazon.

It has some underlying analogies to real life, in areas where we have become so accustomed or enslaved to certain ways of living and thinking. Change is difficult and we find ourselves wanting to go back to what is familiar, even though it is not beneficial to us and we need to go forward to better things. Think about an employee trying to become an entrepreneur. Or the Israelites on their way to the promised land, who frequently complained about the new challenges they were encountering and wished to go back to Egypt, to the familiar. Freedom has a price.

All in all the book is a great read!

of single women and childhood sweethearts

Once upon a time, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, there was a boy in my school who liked me very much. So much in fact, that he wrote me a poem and had someone deliver it to me, I don’t remember who it was now. What resulted was a gaggle of excited and giggling school girls gathered around me as I read it. Then someone grabbed it from me and read it out loud to the whole group. That was an exciting day in our primary school life. I didn’t know what to make of it. The girls discussed in excited high pitched voices the implications of this act, what should or should not be done, would I get in trouble?? Oh please Lord don’t let me get in trouble with the teachers! Some girls were of the mind to forward the whole perplexing issue to a teacher to deal with and I was horrified! Luckily such a thing never ensued and I was free to continue my hitherto unremarkable life in peace.

From that day forward I was never quite sure how to behave around him. He was a really nice boy though. We would be coy around each other. Sometimes he and his friends would chase me and my friends down the school corridors, since that is what 12 year old boys do to show how much they like a girl 🙂

Ultimately nothing much came of that incident, and by the next year we were all off to different high schools and I never saw him until we were in university. He had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend (I think). But we would occasionally run into each other and hang out, especially in our first year when we were still getting familiar with the new environment. We were very comfortable together because we knew each other from our childhood. As the years passed he moved to another campus, we stopped running into each other or hanging out, so nothing came of this meeting either.

Fast forward about 10 years later and there was a school reunion. I was very excited to go and catch up with everyone, see how they had changed or not, and find out what they were up to. He also came and so, for a third time we met. I was single, he was single. And he looked quite interested in me. He hung around me the whole evening, bought me drinks, kept me entertained. I was a bit hesitant however and maybe he read my reluctance because he never called me after that night. I was a single mother now, and having come out of a harrowing relationship I was not about to jump into another. His lifestyle from what I saw and heard was a bit on the fast lane and I did not want to be the one trying to keep up with him. I had already tried and failed with my ex.

About a year later he got married. We would still chat sometimes online, and one day he mentioned to me that I had always been ‘the one’ except that I had never been interested. I was shocked. I didn’t know he still had that sentiment about me. After a while we fell out of touch and I haven’t spoken to him in years.

I’m still not married. As a single gal wondering why you’re still single, you occasionally go through your old files, such as this one. Was this my chance that I missed totally? Am I now doomed to a life of singleness after missing ‘the one’ for me? This question really used to bother me because I thought I had missed it. But I came to realize this was not true, and God still has ‘the one’ for me. When you find the one for you there’s no hesitation or second thoughts. I’ve been loving this sermon by Pastor Toure on finding your soulmate, it reaffirms my belief.

Do you have an old relationship you have regrets over? Let me know in the comments.

of single women and the twilight saga

Ugh. As in disgusted at myself. I got caught up in watching these movies again. It came on TV last night and before I knew it I had watched the whole thing. This is my one vice left over from my romance novel reading days. Watching chick flicks.

But the twilight saga is on a whole other realm. I think it’s all the blood lust and love or die theme. These vampires don’t sleep, don’t die, life is one whole dragging existence. The only thing left to live for is love. In fact it says so on one of the movie posters, something to the effect if you can live forever, what do you live for? And the answer is….  love. This gets the women every time. I remember the first time I saw the trailer for the movie (see it here)I was like yet another teenage movie, with wolves and vampires no less, God help us all.

Then one day about 3 years ago,sitting innocently and bored on my couch, it came on TV and I was transfixed and could not for the life of me change the channel. It was the new moon movie, same one they showed again last night. I was swept up in the whole story and the next thing I knew I was out at the video store looking for all the other installments. It so bothered me that I went online to check the reviews, was I crazy? Then I saw the comments by all these women in their 30s and beyond and I was consoled. The one I most related to was a movie critic who says she succumbed to the palpable chemistry between the leads and remembered my own girlish fantasies with something of a head spinning rush. Yeah.

The fervor of the love is such that it’s almost religious. Consider Edward’s declarations to Bella: you are my life now, I no longer have the strength to stay away from you etc. (These btw are from the first twilight movie which I promptly had to rewatch after watching new moon awoke the beast within). I’m not surprised to learn that the author, Stephanie Meyers, is a staunch Christian. A Mormon I think.

It brings to mind for God so loved the world…..that famous verse. In fact in the bible God is described as love. As in God is love. And since he created us by breathing his life into us, then love is the very essence of our being. Children thrive on love. You cannot bring up a child in isolation giving them only the material things of life and no love. That is how you create a monster. Women however seem much more connected to this essence than men. Men are commanded to love their wives. Women are commanded to honour their husbands. Maybe that’s why we’re into all these love stories. Or maybe that’s my excuse lol.

At any rate in our search for love sometimes we get fed a lot of crap which we need to learn how to sift through and get to the real thing. One of the memorable quotes from the first movie is after they first get together: and so the lion fell in love with the lamb, what a stupid little lamb, what a sick masochistic lion. Poetic and apt but certainly not wise. It has less to do with love and points to everything wrong that’s fed to poor teenage girls in romantic novels about what relationships are all about. I’m a fully grown woman and still in recovery from all the wrong ideologies I got from these books.Maybe I’ll write about that one day.