Red Ink by Kathi Macias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Red Ink follows a number of people and their spiritual journeys. Interestingly enough, I've been following stories of the persecuted church in China while reading this book. But the story is not just about China. Julia, an elderly woman, and her friend and prayer partner Laura are American senior citizens who are compelled to pray for people in China. Their urges to pray coincide with persecution, which the reader knows about when the setting reverts to China. Paralleling this story is another one about a young teen who is being manipulated by a man who intends to sell her as a sex slave.
Red Ink is about unconditional love, ultimate sacrifice, and faithful allegiance to the one true God, Tian Fu. The female prisoner in China, Zhen-Lei, whose name means truth, is compelled to serve her Savior even in prison, and to love even the people who have abused and betrayed her as Christ compelled her to do. She suffered, and yet she sought Christ's comfort and strength. Her story is powerful, and the impact it had on the people who knew her in China was life-changing because of her obedience to God's direction each step of the way. His plan and purpose is much greater than hers and the impact is felt by those around her. I loved the subplot with her cell mate Mei and how their relationship changed over the course of the book. That was powerful story as well.
In Red Ink, there is not a happy ending for everyone, but then again, this book is about persecution in the church, not happily ever after. The parallel story with Maggie and her crotchety grandma Margaret was pretty intense, as well very edgy, which I loved. It was amazing how these stories dovetailed together and complimented each other. The bottom line is that praying for people who are being persecuted is always effective, and listening to God's call to love the unlovable is a powerful weapon against ultimate destruction. Other than the occasional confusion over the many Chinese names (which I was able to keep straight about halfway through this book) and the numerous points of view, I found this story to be compelling and easy to follow. This novel is full of spiritual food for thought and is sure to nourish people who read it.
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