Inspirations from God combines author Beverly A. Bell’s photographs, poetry, proverbs, and prayers. Her work, she notes on the back cover, “stems from her complex and difficult life experience and from the solace she finds in her relationship with God.”
Each two-page spread includes a full-color photograph of a landscape or waterscape, accompanied by a poem, one-line proverb, or prayer. While the scenes are beautiful, some photographs appear out of focus, and there is not always a clear connection between photo and text.
A theme of new beginnings or restoration is prevalent in the poetry and prayers. Some poems seem to be describing human relationships, while others reflect a relationship with God.
The poems generally feature simplistic rhyme structures and messages. For example, “Starting Over” begins: “I will be there by your side, when your world comes crashing down./ This I know will happen soon, but I’ll still be around.” Often, the author is forced into awkward syntax as she stretches for a rhyme (“On this day when I awake and realize my life is such a fake,/ Where do I start, or maybe I should learn to put on the brake”).
The book includes a short section of one-line proverbs, including: “The prosperity of the Lord is good and He addeth no sorrow to it.” And a collection of prayers concludes the book, such as this one: “Be merciful to me, oh God, who has faltered from Thy way. Restore me, oh God, to a right relationship with Thee…”
While the photos add visual interest, their quality may not be stunning enough to appeal to readers seeking photography books. Likewise, the poems aren’t composed in a way that will satisfy sophisticated poetry readers. Still, Bell’s written sentiments may comfort those dealing with troubled relationships and readers who recognize that God is a provider of new beginnings—in both human and spiritual relationships.
Also available in hardcover.