Hi, I’m Marcy McKay from Amarillo, author of Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release, When Life Feels Like a House Fire: Transforming Your Stress. I’m excited to be a Radio Reader for High Plains Public Radio’s Book Club. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver tells about Nathan Price, a 1950’s preacher who drags his wife and four daughters from Georgia to save the wicked souls in the Congolese jungle of Africa. It’s a powerful novel about politics, religion, sin, redemption and everything else that makes for great storytelling.
Narrated by the wife and four daughters, you begin the see very different worlds and stories take shape. It’s amazing how one person can view the same situation like night and day. It causes tension in the Price family, their tiny village and greater rumblings throughout Africa.
That story took on a whole new meaning in 2020. Heyyyyyy, thought. We’ve been living this for the past four years in America.
I know I’ve been doing it personally in my own childhood family.
The chasm has probably been there longer, but it reached a new level in 2016, or a new low, depending on how you look at it – with a childhood family member during the past two presidential elections. I’m not going to say who it was because I love this person like family because they are my family.
One of us voted for Donald Trump, while the other did not.
Each thought the other had lost their ever-lovin,’ gobstoppin’ minds.
It’s been a long four years. I bet you can relate. Families, friends and strangers have their own opinions. Some do not want to discuss it all because it was so unpleasant, while others can’t talk about anything else. Facebook became a battleground.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve lived several different lifetimes since COVID-19 hit Texas in March of 2020. Somedays it felt like we were livestreaming Armageddon. Somehow, the Coronavirus also became both a political-and-religious weapons.
I still do not understand how this family member and I can see the world so differently since we were raised with the same values that our mom and dad taught us.
It’s like a Tale of Two Americas. That’s the same way in The Poisonwood Bible. All five narrators lead you on very fascinating, but different stories.
Regardless of how you voted, America is struggling right now. We seem more divided than ever. I do not know the solution, but Barbara Kingsolver writes an incredible story of what NOT to do within your family, your village, or your country.
Don’t think your way is the only way to solve a problem, or accomplish a goal.
Don’t use the Bible to beat up others.
Don’t forget that The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That leads us to some important Do’s:
Do remember that kindness matters.
Do stand up for the hungry, the sick, the poor and the disenfranchised.
Do remember to love your neighbor as yourself.
Do remember that I am my brother’s keeper because what happens to the least of us, happens to all of us.
In the book, Pastor Nathan Price destroys himself and his family with his blind arrogance in his complete refusal to see the world through another’s eyes.
I want to do better. I hope you do, too. Together, I pray we bring The Tale of Two Americas back to one nation, where all men are truly created equal.
This is Marcy McKay, local author from Amarillo and Radio Reader from High Plains Public Radio. For more information, go to HPPR.org.