I picked up the book On the Anvil by author Max Lucado after reading some praise about it. In the last couple of years I have read nearly ten of his books. I seek out his books because I have tested his theology and believe it to be sound and firmly rooted in the Bible. I also seek out his writings because they are like spiritual comfort food to me. Certainly nothing too academically challenging, but usually something to make me shout amen, or make me laugh or cry. Sometimes simple and poignant, sometimes honest and humble. Good sturdy fare written in a dependable style and format.
It was only after I took a close look at "On the Anvil" did I notice that this book was his first published work. With nearly 70 published books under his belt, this was his first. It actually turns out that this book is a collection of weekly columns that he prepared for his local church bulletin. In some sense, they were written before he realized his calling as an author, before he developed a style or formula, before he even had a thought of trying to appeal to a mass audience. In that I found great enjoyment. Each of the 49 columns is a separate entity with a different feeling and with a very different style. Some are from light moments in his life and some from dark moments. Some are based on people he knew and learned from, others border on poetry. Some were laugh-out-loud funny, and others tugged at your heart.
The subtitle of this book is "Stories on Being Shaped Into God's Image". The shaping is done by God on His anvil of life. Some feel that they are old and broken tools wasting away in the scrap heap. Others are presently being shaped by God into the tools that He wants for them to be. Still for some others, God has completed His work on them for now, and they lay ready for His use in the toolbox. Such is the theme of this compilation. One that I very much enjoyed.