Tattered and Mended did not disappoint my desires in any way. Page after page, I would think of another friend whose heart could use the intertwining of the Bible (both verses of encouragement and stories of those who experienced grief, pain, fear, betrayal or loss in the Old and New Testaments), the accounts of mending within Ruchti's own life, and the added stories and examples of others whose aches are laid bare for the reader to connect with as well. It is no coincidence that the day I read of a lady who had lost her husband was the very day a dear friend's terminal battle with cancer ended--leaving his wife and three children without him until they meet again in Heaven. The way Ruchti described her widowed friend are the words I cling to now as my own precious friend continues life's journey without her soulmate: "But she's functioning better. Not because time heals. It doesn't have that much clout. She's functioning better because what was excruciating is now tender" (p 36). May others move from the excruciating to the tender as God reconstructs their brokenness.
I read the book fully and completely, sometimes rereading, so I could gain a better view of God in my own life and also in the lives of family and friends. Ruchti put in so eloquently: "No tattered soul escapes God's notice." (p 127). Not Tamar, who was raped by her brother Amnon, had her brother Absalom convince her to keep it a secret, and her father, King David who "refused to punish his son Amnon because he loved him as his oldest child" (2 Samuel 13:21. Recorded in Tattered and Mended on page 126).
"God made sure [Tamar's] innocence would be recorded for all time in his word...Tamar's tattered soul did not escape God's notice" (p 127).
- Recorded so my friend can witness Tamar's story, connect with her pain, and cling to that same innocence.
- Recorded so my friend can see God does love and care, even in the midst of the most tragic betrayal.
- Recorded so my friend can continually grasp ahold of the comfort of our Savior. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, as she continues to see how God has been working within her and creating a mending, stronger tapestry.
Even as I read this book and held a new empathy, new prayer-focus for many friends, I felt a little guilty that my life hasn't held incredible tragedy, pain, or suffering. Could my words of comfort, or desire to be a quiet listener, bring comfort to friends when my story is nothing like theirs? Ruchti provided the answer to my concerns with this lovely truth: "We loan strength to one another" (p 120). Community brings comfort. And comfort is a salve onto our friends' raw wounds. We become part of their healing process as the bonds of friendship and trust deepen. Wherever we are along these varied paths--the faithful friend or the grieving soul--God allows us to work together and witness restoration.
Whether you are the person who seeks out Tattered and Mended as an aid for your soul's healing process, or you are the comforting friend who is seeking out God's truth and wisdom, or the Biblical Counselor looking for a phenomenal resource, Tattered and Mended will not disappoint. As for me? I'll be purchasing a few copies for friends, and pray it brings hope to their brokenness.
*All quotes and page numbers I listed are taken directly from Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti. Abington Press. 2015
How can the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live be mended and healed? In Tattered and Mended, Cynthia Ruchti walks readers through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.
Celebrate the release of Tattered and Mended with Cynthia by entering to win her Reclaimed Treasures giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Tattered and Mended
- A vintage flatware key ring
- A handcrafted "broken china" charm bracelet
- A recycled guitar string bracelet
Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200).
- The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
- A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
- A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
- Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction