Wazzlewood & Lord, Thee I Love

The winner of the Wazzlewood Giveaway is Whitney Crowell! Congratulations! Now, all of you, you have got to read my review below. It is for Kloria Publishing‘s latest release, Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heartillustrated by the fabulously-talented Lutheran Kelly Schumacher.

 Lord, Thee I Love Review

I have to admit that I am a tremendous fan of Kloria Publishing’s books. Each hymn is beautifully poignant, meaningful, and deeply Christian. The illustration work is always high quality and stylistically appropriate. Having said that, they have outdone themselves with Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart.

The hymn was already highly meaningful to me, but I am blown away with what the illustrator, Kelly Schumacher, added to the piece!

The hymn, written by Martin Schalling, a German pastor and former student of Melanchthon himself, is itself a powerful and bold confession: “And should my heart for sorrow break, My trust in Thee can nothing shake.” Theologically, I  especially dote on several lines that simply strike me as particularly Lutheran: “Forsake me not! I trust Thy Word!” Not to sound over the top, but I think I can safely describe the hymn as aching sincerity with honesty about both earthly heartbreak and divine hope. Yet not sappy or overly emotional—balanced and beautiful.

To that the illustrator added lush paintwork, beautifully done. Family and church scenes reflect the development of the devastating condition of cancer in an elementary-aged daughter.

The hymn faces death and recounts the Gospel and Christian hope in both God’s continuing care and the bodily resurrection of the dead. But in the context of a child with a terminal prognosis, the book is just . . . absolutely spectacular as both a parallel confession with the hymnody by an entire family with their pastor and a tremendous tool for all the children who are affected by serious diagnoses or the death of loved ones.

What an amazing tool to foster hope in the resurrection, as well as discussions of Christian fears and death. Every Christian child who has lost his or her hair should get this book. This book will bring families and friends together. Sharing this book is sharing an experience and one not soon forgotten! Amazing!

One slight hesitation on my part. There is a beautiful scene with angels. It is a loving, sensitive, and soothing scene. I think the artist may have included herself as the one carrying the sweet child to Abraham’s bosom, bearing her home! Amazingly talented work! I still generally hesitate about depicting angels as women and children. Doesn’t Scripture typically depict angels as male and more likely to carry swords? Still. I don’t expect that to be a deal breaker to prevent purchasing this book. It’s simply a tremendous gift to the church!

 

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