From what I have read, These Nameless Things is supposed to be loosely based on Dante’s Inferno. Up until this point, I have had a hard time seeing the connection clearly. From my viewpoint, the mountain represents our own personal trials, grief, or “hell” that we face at any given point.
We started off this section by being introduced to Sarah and Karon, uniquely creepy yet sort of bland people that have settled in their sadness. They are not fully crippled by their regrets, yet do not have a desire to live their lives to the fullest. Sarah even states, “You can stay here, but you can’t live here.” There is a lack of forgiveness or resolution in their lives that is keeping them from moving on.
I appreciated Sarah and Karon because they brought a fresh perspective on the different groups of people to the story. I am sure that is because they had seen it all since the “beginning.” They mention Kathy as being someone they had trusted and then betrayed them. Not only that, but she seems to have a desire to convince others to return to the pit. Yikes!
Obviously, Dan’s deepest desire is to rescue Adam, but Sarah and Karon think that is not only unwise, but impossible. “This is not a place you can be rescued from… It’s the kind of place you have to leave on your own. Everyone who has ever left has battled their own way out. In this place, our guilt consumes us.”
They speak with conviction and certainty, which makes Dan second guess his decision. What do they know that he doesn’t?
Then there is Adam. He is stuck in the depths of the pit, absolutely suffering. But according to all that has been said, doesn’t he have a CHOICE to leave?
The iron gate is designed only to lock people in. It is all too easy to fall into traps of regret and unforgiveness, but what is the key to leaving? Dan had taken the key from Kathy, but what does it represent? Forgiveness? A desire or decision to change?
That is the question I would like answered in the last section of this book. What is the KEY to getting Adam out of the pit? Is it the intervention of others, or does he simply need to have the willpower?
“The only thing that can rescue anyone from this deep darkness is grace.”
Sarah stated it, but she chose to stay close to her grief. I would like to think that this statement refers to the grace and forgiveness granted to us through Jesus Christ. He is the true key to escaping the pit of despair, but only if we are willing to let him rescue us. No other Christian or nice person can do it for us, we have to let him transform our hearts and believe in the identity we have through him as beloved, forgiven, children of God.
You may have noticed that this week I have more questions than answers, HA! What do you think is the key to getting out of the mountain? When it comes to grieving or living in a “personal hell,” with which character do you identify most, if at all?
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the book:
August 24: Chapters 23-30
August 31: No Book Club, learn about the next session of Connection Groups
We’re going in a direction we haven’t gone here in Book Club! Next month we are excited to be reading the book Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters by Dr. Juli Slattery. This book is going to feed into conversations and opportunities we have coming up and we feel like those discussions will be rich and helpful. Here’s a little bit more about the book!
“By contesting long-held cultural paradigms, this book equips you to see how sexuality is rooted in the broader context of God’s heart and His work for us on earth. It provides a framework from which to understand the big picture of sexual challenges and wholeness, and helps you recognize that every sexual question is ultimately a spiritual one. It shifts the paradigm from combating sexual problems to confidently proclaiming and modeling the road to sacred sexuality.”