In Knock and I Will Dine with You, author Clara E. Garcia writes from a layperson’s perspective, acknowledging her humanness and brokenness and offering simple Bible-based advice, inspiration and insight on how to maneuver the highways and byways of everyday living: “Love one another. Be at peace with yourself. Help your neighbor. Be good to your children. Be happy. Live life like it’s your last day.”
There’s nothing new or earth-shattering in these words. But while such prescriptions for good living have been passed down for millennia, so much so they can sound clichÃ©, Garcia manages to encapsulate the core message of the Christian Gospels in just a few short sentences. In turn, she imparts the importance of listening to old words with new ears.
Her book is not without problems, however. There are a number of grammatical errors and the writing can, at times, seem unfocused. And while most of the book is comprised of proverbial wisdom, the most provocative part of the book (the last third) deals with three visitations that Garcia experiences at her home. The first is the arrival of a dove in her family’s backyard. The second is an image of Jesus that appears on a number of photos of a new door she installs in her house. The third is an encounter with a strange young man who knocks on her door and asks to borrow a Bible. What do these three events mean? Are they related at all?
Garcia isn’t sure, which seems a missed opportunity. While the answer to these questions may be elusive, the author could have used these events as a frame for her book and offered the insight she provides into Christian living as a response and reflection on understanding these happenings.
In sum, while the book isn’t perfect, the message Garcia articulates – knock and the door will be opened – is one with deep spiritual resonance.
Also available in hardcover.