In the novel Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry, J. D. Jessup has moved from Nashville to Tuscon and works on an organic farm. Tuscon is close enough to the border of Mexico that a lot of illegal aliens come through the area. J. D. has been instructed to call Border Patrol if he sees any illegals.
While on his rounds one morning, J. D. Comes across a beautiful Mexican woman in the desert. She is dehydrated and injured, with a handcuff on one wrist. Instead of calling border patrol, however, he takes her back to his place and then to a doctor. Before long he learns that a killer is after the girl, a killer who has no qualms about killing anyone who has had contact with her.
Several times J. D. thinks perhaps he should leave well enough alone, and the girl, Maria, urges him to for his own safety. But he just can’t let go. For various reasons he feels compelled to help her, and in doing so, the walls around his own heart begin to come down.
Both J. D. and Maria are close-mouthed about their pasts at first, and their stories come out piecemeal as they get to know each other. Maybe for this reason, it was a little hard for me to connect with the characters at first. And, though I know the lead characters in a story have to go through all kinds of trials and setbacks before they reach the end, they usually face both ups and downs. In this story, however, there seemed to be unrelenting and worsening downs for most of the book before things finally turned around.
But things did turn around near the end, and by that time the characters had grown on me. Along the way, the book tackles some tough issues, like racism, false assumptions, and wondering where God is during tragedies. The only quote I marked touches on the latter:
But think of it this way. A lot of people don’t believe in God because bad things happen. A follower of Jesus can hope in spite of the bad things. Look at the crucifixion. That didn’t look like a good outcome for his followers. But God gained his most glorious victory on that cross.
While this is not my favorite of Fabry’s books, it’s still a very good read.