Friday, March 03, 2006

My book review of Sadhu Sunder Singh


I have a day off today... and so I just finished reading “The Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh” by Cyril J. Davey. It was a compelling 156 page tale of God’s provision, grace and mercy to those who love Him and long to serve Him. It is an account of Sundar’s life in Jesus. Sundar was born in 1889 in a Sikh family with strong Hindu affinities, and he was still in his early teens when he became a follower of Christ. Sundar converted to Christianity immediately after seeing a literal vision of Jesus at the age of fourteen, and was consequently poisoned by his family and thrown out of his home in dishonor because of his faith and love for Christ. After being baptized at sixteen he spent most of the rest of his life as an Indian “Holy Man”(Sadhu) observing “the way” and living as a missionary to both India and Tibet. During every year of his life that followed, he faced both torture and death because of his love of Christ. One of the most convicting parts of this book is to know that he lived this fantastic life full of peril and blessing at a relatively young age. From the age of fourteen until his disappearance at around the age of forty he didn’t sway towards the temptations of family and friends. His decision of devotion to his now first love, Jesus Christ was more than enough. This was a man whose deep conviction and love for Christ Jesus lead him to live a life set apart from the things of this world and from the desires of wealth and pleasures of youth. His pleasure was his savior and his joy was to walk in the foot steps of Jesus, covered in blood and sweat though they were. He declared that “a Christian is a man who has fallen in love with Christ.” and “When we have left this life we shall not have a second chance of bearing the cross for Christ.” I love the fact that this book reminds me that a life fully lost for Christ is a life found and full!

The book continues to share how this Sadhu who had given up his life for Christ Jesus did have the chance to visit the west(Europe, Australia & America) in 1920. He stated, without abashment, some important warnings to the west. In one of which he declared, “I found a stone in a pool among the Himalayas. It was hallow, and when I broke it, I found the center completely dry. So it is here in the west. You have lain for centuries in the waters of Christianity, but it has never penetrated your hearts.” The truth of this can still be seen today! We must remember to pray. Once when in a rat infested prison for declaring Christ’s gospel in Tibet, Sundar wrote in his now tattered new testament “Christ’s presence has turned my prison into a blessed heaven. What will it be like in heaven itself?”

This is definitely a book filled with conviction for the reader. And I must admit that I will certainly be more willing to live a life devoted to Christ after reading it (with His help of course). I do desperately wish that I had the courage to live such a life, and perhaps with His Spirit to guide and help, I/we might all find His joy that comes with suffering for Him. We must remember how much it is that God loves us. We must remember that Jesus is our first love, He is the light found in our eyes and the delight of our souls. May we know no other joy then Him.

All in all, this is an excellent book and a must read for those who need a good kick in the pants (like I did) in reminding what a new life in Jesus is all about. It isn’t about not going to hell and it’s definitely not just about going to heaven. It’s about loving Him as He loves us. Not loving Him like you love a fine cigar or a cold glass of Iced tea. Not loving Him like you love your mother, father, sister or brother, nor like loving best friend. But it’s loving Him like He loves us(something we are only capable of doing because of Christ’s love for the Father in us). However, we often neglect the fact that love must be sacrificial. We must die to our sinful desires and take hold of this new life and love. It takes courage and guts to stand outside in foreign clothing declaring words the world hates. Let’s remember to pray for each other!

Anyway, this book is filled with tons of interesting glimpses into the Indian culture of Asia, as well as a mysterious secret society of believing Sadhu, a three hundred year old Christian hermit and tales of Gods protection from man’s hatred, wild beasts, and tumultuous acts of nature.

I’ll end with this interesting paraphrase of Jesus’ words. Sundar had told this to America on his visit here after seeing our state of affairs, “Come unto me all ye that are heavy-laden with gold and I will give you rest.”

I assure you His rest is far better than all the world’s gold, riches, and pleasures!

9 comments:

shinbone #4 said...

Wow.. I think now, that I must read this book. I think it's the same one on him that I read years ago, but there is so much that I don't remember... so hand it over. I now NEED to read this book... again and/or for the first time.

gospeloflove said...

Wow, I analytically edited this blog three times already. I hope Aslan doesn't get wind of this!

Yogger said...

Hey John,

Doesn't it help to write even a short review of a book? It helps you get some of the things you learned out on paper.

Good review too. I love reading those kind of books, I'll have to put it on my "post-May" reading list. Kudos to YOU!

shinbone #4 said...

By the way... I like the picture of you in the Turban... you should wear it more often

dags said...

I agree, the turban is a bold fashion statement for you...I also need to read this book! Thanks for your comments--they affirms a few things that have been floating around in my head lately (guess there's a little too much space up there right now...) He is a man who stood out for his faith, but why do so many Christians (myself included in a BIG way)have such trouble doing that?

mc hammer said...

hey man.. I've been checkin' out your blog lately... it's all good stuff. When are we gonna get somethin' funky fresh??
your bro

Johnny 5 said...

Input... neeeeed innnnnput!

Haugan said...

Hey John,

last time I checked unless...your life has completely changed you have forgotten two of your greatest loves in your profile. 1. Video games 2. me!!!!!

Love,
Ryan

gospeloflove said...

Ryan I made some changes to the profile just for you!