It doesn't feel completely proper to critique or write a review of a book when it is someone's personal life story. In those instances I think it's more fitting to glean something from each story. Some we glean more and some we glean less, but in the instance of Ben Palpants book A Small Cup of Light we can feast on all that we have gathered.
The main course is the reconciliation between suffering and goodness. How can joy and light be found in despair and darkness? Is there any benefit from being lead into the wilderness? Can strength be found in weakness? Most of us try to escape our suffering as quickly as possible, but does our vision not blur as we run? A Small Cup Of Light takes us through one man's journey with suffering, pain, and sadness.
Ben is a normal guy living out a normal life in the Pacific Northwest until his head catches fire. Well not literally, but upon waking up from an afternoon nap, his head internally felt on fire. He instantly knew something was wrong. Then slowly, like the spring melting of the winter snow, his physical and mental abilities began to drip away. Worst of all the medical community could not figure out what was wrong. All the while he continued to lose everything that had come to define him. A Small Cup Of Light leads us on a vividly guided tour into darkness and brokenness. Ben honestly exposes himself as he is searching for answers and struggling with being a broken man in more ways than one. As the complexity of Ben's multifaceted situation grows, his vision of his situation becomes more simple. He is able to boil it all down to one thing. What is this suffering here to tell me? Ben puts its more elegantly than I. "The next time I find myself in the wilderness… I will ask God to say to me what he has brought me in the desert to say".
This is a questions we all struggle with. What could possibly be good about this horrible situation? Why me? Why now? Have I not lead a good life? Why?!?! This book does not seek to give you all the answers, but is an egg shaped gift that is ready to hatch hope into the hopeless. Wonderfully written, elegant typeset, and beautifully complied, do yourself a tremendous favor; pick this book up and take a drink of this small cup of light.
I love everything about books. The feel of the page between your fingers, the sound of a book spine cracking, even the smell of an old dust jacket. Looking to share that passion with others.