In Lost Melody by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith, Jill King is a talented concert pianist on her way to Carnegie Hall when she’s involved in a horrible subway accident which kills most of the passengers. Jill survives, but sustains an injury to her hip, and what’s worse, to her hand, tragically ending any dreams she had for her future as a pianist.
In the year following she slowly recovers physically as much as possible, but she is still seeing a counselor to deal with the emotional trauma. People feel it’s time for her to move on, and things begin to move toward a permanent commitment to her boyfriend Greg, a lawyer with promising political ambitions.
About this time she begins having recurring terrifying dreams, and she feels they are portending a disaster to her oceanside Novia Scotia town and she’s supposed to warn people. But warning people carries the risk of being thought crazy, which would not only damage her reputation but would also affect her fiance’s career.
I’d seen this pop up on other blogs and always thought it sounded interesting until I got to the part about the dreams, then I’d close the screen and move on to something else. But when I was looking for a new audiobook, somehow I missed that part when I ordered.
For me, I can’t help reading/listening and wondering “Where are the authors going with this? Are they trying to promote a view that God speaks to people in this way today?”
Personally, I don’t believe that He does. No, there is no Bible verse where God says, “I will never again speak audibly or through dreams to anyone ever again until they get to heaven.” But my understanding of I Corinthians 13:8b-10 (“But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”) is that once the Word of God came, the need for the “sign gifts” faded away. I know there are differences of opinion about that, and that’s fine: I don’t mean to start a debate. I’m just relaying my mindset as I listened to the book. The most realistic and seemingly genuine incidents I’ve heard of their use today have occurred among primitive people who don’t have the Scriptures in their languages yet. Plus, I don’t know of a Biblical prophecy that’s just about getting out of town because of a coming disaster: usual it has to do with a call to repentance. There are multitudes of crashes, floods, explosions, earthquakes, and other disasters throughout the world on a daily basis: why would God pick one little town and send a prophecy to them to leave town because something bad is about to happen?
But I decided if I was going to get anything out of the book, I needed to just set that aside mentally, accept it as just a fictional part of a fictional story rather than reality, and just see how it played out.
I felt the authors did handle well the ramifications of such a character with such a message: the disbelief of some, including her fiance, and his wrestling with how to support her while not letting her stance have a negative impact on his career; the support of others, with a tiny few carrying it over into a bit of extreme fanaticism; the media interest and “spin” on it, etc. All of that was very realistic and did make me empathize with the prophets of old, the reluctance some of them may have felt at proclaiming a message that many would not receive. The authors also did a great job with the plot development and the build-up of suspense to the climax at the end.
I enjoyed most the parts about Jill’s recovery and the issues she faced in connection with the loss of her dream. But even regarding the prophecy as fictional, as a plot element, I didn’t really enjoy that part of the book as well.
(This review will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)