Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Is there a book that kept you hooked from the first page to the last? Have you ever read a story that revealed that the impossible can be possible?
I couldn’t put this book down from the moment I began to read it. My brother gave it to me as a gift. I read the entire book within 4 hours, without skipping a page.
Yes I know, I describe every book I read as a life-changing experience. But only when you begin to read that will realize that I am completely honest about these books.
Today, I want to share what “Left To Tell” by Immaculee IIibagiza taught me. It wasn’t a book I completely enjoyed. I cried, laughed, and yelled at some pages like I could change the words or story. But it is a book I recommend to anybody who desires to feed their soul.
How Did I Find This Book?
I am a big fan of motivational literature. My brother bought Left To Tell as a gift for me. I was in a bad state at the beginning of this year, and I needed every ounce of hope I could get. When he gave me this book, I was sort of disappointed. I didn’t want to read about Rwanda’s history or the holocaust that happened before I was born. I needed an escape from my reality. He convinced me to read this book and I agreed because he is the last person to ever read a book.
How Long Did It Take To Read Left To Tell?
I completed this book within 4 hours. I am a very fast reader and I think it’s a gift. My mum would never read a book or just anything long enough with me because I am too fast at reading. What made this story compelling is that she found peace and discovered her true self in the middle of a crisis that claimed her entire family.
What Are My Favorite Lines From The Book And Why?
"What was that all about, Immaculée? That was the man who murdered your family. I brought him to you to question...to spit on if you wanted to. But you forgave him! How could you do that? Why did you forgive him?"
I answered him with the truth: "Forgiveness is all I have to offer."
Imagine forgiving someone who murdered your entire family. Can you do that? I don’t think so. But Immaculee did. The horror of the genocide crushed every bit of my heart. I felt intense pain and I wanted to take revenge on her behalf. I wanted to inflict pain on the killers and it wasn’t even my story. What moved me the most is that she forgave these unbearable atrocities. How could she pray for someone who murdered her family? People who were friends and neighbors before the genocide but still chose to hunt and kill her family. It broke my heart to read about the help and love her parents showed the community and what they received in return. Left To Tell is a book that would compel you to reflect. It would drive you to question humanity. Why are we so cruel to each other?
But I came to learn that God never shows us something we aren't ready to understand. Instead, He lets us see what we need to see when we need to see it. He'll wait until our eyes and hearts are open to Him, and then when we're ready, He will plant our feet on the path that's best for us...but it's up to us to do the walking.
Immaculee discovered God trapped in a small toilet with seven other women. She turned and believed in him when she had every right to disbelieve and give up. It was during her worst time that she forged a profound relationship with God. And she shared the hope that praying and communing with God gave her with the women in the toilet. How her faith was not shattered during the terror is shocking. But why did God allow her to endure so much pain? Is it to tell a story? Or to heal thousands of people who have gone through and are still going through brutal circumstances. Whatever the reason, her book has changed the lives of thousands. It has given life to millions of people who were dead emotionally and spiritually. By sharing her story, she has healed and saved lonely hearts.
The love of a single heart can make a world of difference.
Her story taught me this: “Never stop being a good person because of bad people.” No matter what happens in life, always be kind. Forgiveness can’t change the past but it can enlarge the future. Forgiveness liberates you. It is a gift to yourself. Whenever you go, be kind, show love to people and always try to heal a soul. Your suffering should not stop you from doing what is right and helping those in need. You can change the world, your voice matters, your actions contribute to your community so always try to be a good person.
Some Reviews From Good Reads
This book broke my heart over and over all the while strengthening my spirit. I learned that no matter what your situation you can put your trust in God’s hands. Sometimes, I feel like my own needs are trivial in comparison to what others may be dealing with and that I don’t have a right to burden Heavenly Father with my minuscule problems and questions. But we all need direction, no matter what your circumstance, and we all need support.
This book was wonderful. I marveled at her amazing faith and her willingness to forgive and love. It inspired me to serve more willingly, to be more informed, and to try to put my life in God’s hands.
2. Amazing survival story! Through her ordeal, she was isolated with 7 other women for 3 months in a tiny bathroom. She turned to prayer and meditation as she had no idea how long this ordeal would last. Through this horror, she became closer to God. She listened to inspiration from God and it saved her life and the lives of those with her.
It was a great reminder that money and power can influence people to do evil. Slowly, people can be influenced to believe things that are not true or act inhumanly based on subtle propaganda.
Her ability to forgive allowed her to move on with her life and help others.
Some of my favorite quotes:
“All I could do was pray, so that’s what I did.” p.114
“I reached out, touched his hands lightly, and quietly said what I’d come to say. “I forgive you.” My heart eased immediately. “That was the man who murdered your family. I brought him to you to question . . . to spit on if you wanted to. But you forgave him! How could you do that? Why did you forgive him?”
“I answered him with the truth: “Forgiveness is all I have to offer.” p.204
It is so uplifting to read about someone enduring so much pain and only coming out to be stronger and more faithful to God.
Just imagine being trapped in a toilet(a very small one) with seven women for months. Eating nothing but crumbs for those days.
Immaculee lost everything: her family, her best friends, her community, and everything during the Rwandan genocide. Her almost perfect life was turned upside down within 3 months.
This terror happened in 1994. 28 years today and I can’t bring myself to believe that humans were so heartless and barbaric at that time. Why then does mankind keep repeating these atrocities?
Immaculee learned how to read English in the toilet, studied the English dictionary amidst the pain of losing her entire family. She is the definition of a courageous and optimistic woman.
Her story helped me to reflect. To look around me and appreciate the things that I have. It made me to appreciate everything and everyone around me. To love more and show kindness to people. Everyone has a story to share, and by doing that, you can heal thousands of people, show them that they are not alone in their problems and that they can get through their problems. This book restored my faith, gave me hope and changed my perspective of the world.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Her story is touching, life changing and honest.