This book was an answer to prayer. Rather, God provided an answer to prayer through it. Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia is a book that I picked up at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show back in August. I was hesitant to crack it open at first because, well, I already know I have two idols that rule way too much of my life (those being food and social media, AKA the gods of comfort and ego). I really dreaded going through the agony of finding yet more and having my nose rubbed in it, if you will.
No nose rubbing, people. None. It’s more like Elizabeth Scalia stepped out of the screen, put her arm around my shoulder and said, “God loves us both so much. You keep turning away. I keep turning away. Let’s turn back towards Him together.” The tone was always one of camaraderie, never of condescension. The mood was one of hope in the face of the despair that is so easy to claim after repeated failings.
The timing of my reading even ended up being fortuitous. I’m an abuse survivor, and I was going through (another) period of self-doubt of, “Am I doing the right thing, or should I just shut up and keep the peace so I can be a part of something again?” It’s taken nearly twenty years to train my heart in the face of such thoughts to wait upon the guidance of the Lord to answer such questions. You know what? He always pulls through, usually within a day or two. This time was no exception. I really don’t want to spoil anything for readers, but I’ll just say that the answer to that question was in Chapter 9.
As scared as I was to read this the first time, that’s how eager I am to go back and read it again. Most of the review copies I pick up at CMN get lent out to my friends after I’ve read them. Strange Gods will not be one of those. Go get your own!