The Pillars of the Earth
Ken Follet

Books like this make me believe that good authors are not yet extinct! It is my favourite.


“You want to build this cathedral yourself, don’t you?”
Tom hesitated. It was as well to be candid with Philip: the man had no patience for prevarication. “Yes, Father. I want you to appoint me master builder,” he said as calmly as he could.
“Why?”
Tom had not expected that question. There were so many reasons. Because I’ve seen it done badly, and I know I could do it well, he thought. Because there is nothing more satisfying, to a master craftsman, than to exercise his skill, except perhaps to make love to a beautiful woman. Because something like this gives meaning to a man’s life. Which did Philip want? The prior would probably like him to say something pious. Recklessly, he decided to tell the real truth. “Because it will be beautiful,” he said.
Philip looked at him strangely. Tom could not tell whether he was angry, or something else. “Because it will be beautiful,” Phillip repeated. Finally, he nodded, as if agreeing after some reflection. “Yes. And what could be better than to make something beautiful for God?” he said.

Held — Natalie Grant

I heard this song that is apparently inspired by a christian woman who was infertile. She prayed to God that he could give her a child. Miraculously, she was pregnant, however, the baby died two months after birth.

The chorus goes like this:

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell, we’d be held.

I’ve always asked “why” and “how could this be” and I never once got an answer that made sense to me. But this song changed my perspective. It could be true that it isn’t right at all for tragedies to even happen, but I had totally missed the point. I know I will never get a response to my questions, but I know that I was able to find that minimal strength in me to survive the fall. And we are really strongest at our weakest. No matter the level of sorrow and grief, we will always be held and make it through. Looking back, I still don’t know how I did it, but I’m glad to know that I can stand back up no matter how many times I break down.

-R.Kiu