The second volume in Ted Dekker's Martyr's Song series is entitled, When Heaven Weeps. The story begins with a flashback to Bosnia at the end of WWII. Here a peaceful and isolated village has managed to escape the brutality and darkness of the war that has ravaged Yugoslavia. However, a small band of Serbian guerrillas comes across the village as they have gathered to celebrate the birthday of one their children. The vile and despicable leader of this band orders his troops to terrorize the villagers. In the end, the birthday girl, Nadia, is shot in the head and the village priest is crucified. Through this we come to know Ivena, the mother of the slain girl, and Janjic Jovic, one of the soldiers in the band. Through this horrific episode, Ivena and Janjic begin to understand true love, the love of the Father for His children.
In a suburb of Atlanta in 1964 we catch up to Ivena and Janjic, who have formed a deep and loving friendship. Janjic has written a book based on his war experience that has helped him to develop an influential ministry. In a chance encounter, Janjic helps a wayward drug addict to escape from her powerful and brutal boyfriend. From the start, Helen has an almost magical effect on Janjic's heart. While everything screams at him to guard himself from Helen, he cannot resist her. Helen falls for Janjic and marries him, however, time and again she cannot resist the powerful lure of her old life. Even though it would be so easy for Janjic to reject Helen for her weakness, her habit, and her illicit affairs, even when his ministry is at stake, he cannot turn his Helen away. Along the arc of the story it becomes clear why Janjic stays true to his course. He has seen a vision of God's love for us as unrepentant sinners, and he has been called to mirror a sliver of this life for his bride.
Of course, one of the intriguing aspect of this story is the young woman Helen. The same Helen from Heaven's Wager who some 35 years later served as a prophet for her savior. The second volume in this series was just superb and I look forward to the final book, Thunder of Heaven.