* I was given Steal Away Home to help facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience and are 100% honest and my own.
There are certain points in my life when I have prayed for specific wisdom and understanding. A bridge to help me sort out what is happening in the world around me. To help me sift through the emotions, behaviors, and thinking of humanity. I want to sift them with Jesus’ love and biblical answers. I want wisdom, truth, and love even if it is not popular with either side of the emotions, behavior, and thinking of the time.
In God’s faithfulness, he brought ‘Steal Away Home’ into my path. I was a little concerned I would feel overwhelmed by the doctrine and theology. However, the authors Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey wrote the book in an engaging, easy to understand page turner. Once I have passed it around to friends and family, it will become a classic I read often.
It is the inspiring story of two men who experienced slavery for two completely different reasons. Charles Spurgeon struggled with depression as a child and struggled with it until the day he died. In explaining his depression to a visiting preacher he said: “It is dark when I go to sleep and it is still dark when I wake up”. He was filled with anxiety, fear, and restlessness. Through a conversation with the preacher he was able to develop spiritual, faith eyes and asked Jesus into his heart and for the first time, began to experience peace in his life for the first time. However, it would be a battle he would face his entire life. A slave to his depression, anxiety, and fear.
Thomas Johnson was born a slave in Richmond, Virginia. He was separated from his mother at ten years old and sold to another slave master. The master he was sold to was a heartless, cruel man and the foreman of the plantation was given full reign to punish the slaves for their disobedience. Thomas experienced whips, lack of food and as was the way of life for slaves, was unable to leave the plantation. He was a prisoner, a slave to his master. Ezekiel, also a slave on the plantation was a grandfather figure to Thomas and gave him words of wisdom, hope, love, and protection. He would willingly take the beatings that should have fallen on young Thomas. God would use Ezekiel in young Thomas’ life to show him the peace that could be found in Jesus. Thomas would become a slave to his master, but free and full of peace in his spirit.
One man walked around a free man, yet enslaved to his thoughts and depression. One man was owned by a master, unable to leave his circumstances, yet free in his spirit. Steal Away Home is the friendship of these two men meeting and entering into a long lasting, sweet friendship. Together they would experience freedom through Christ alone.
While these two men are the focus of the book I was also inspired by Susannah Spurgeon and Henrietta Johnson. Two women who married influential men who loved a hurting world and not only taught the words of Jesus, they also showed his love through their actions. Neither walked an easy, comfortable road, yet both loved, prayed and supported their husbands. They were both able to see the bigger picture of what God was doing through their husbands.
Together, these four individuals would fight to speak out against physical slavery around the world. Spurgeon was hated in the south in the Colonies. So much so, they would have book burning sessions every Friday to make sure his sermons, books, and thinking would not spread. Together, these four individuals would also share in words and actions the ways people could be set free from their mental and emotional slavery and be set free through a relationship with Christ.
Steal Away Home published by B & H Publishing Group is now one of my favorite classics. I am excited to read it aloud as a family and to talk about slavery in all aspects. To inspire our kids to have empathy and love for humanity. To speak out for those who cannot and to share the freedom they have in Christ with the world.