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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
A Christian Gift: Uplifting Poetry for All Occasions is a collection of twenty-six poems by Bozena Zawisz with illustrations by Fred Khoury. In the author’s own words, they are intended to “express diverse Christian reflections aimed at nourishing faith, hope, and love.” Most of the poems are written in free verse, while some reflect tempo and rhyme. The photographs which accompany them primarily capture natural beauty with a few of people and a church sprinkled in. My favorite is of five birds flying over the surf with their shadows reflected in the sand below. While the photographs are beautifully presented, I found myself wishing that many of them were larger, full page or even spread across two pages for greater effect.
Zawisz shares her thoughts and feelings on many topics which reassure the reader. In a poem titled “Hold On,” she addresses the topic of fear: “I know what fear means too well/but I shall not drown in life’s stormy days—/for I put faith in quiet prayers, and sketches of Your love,/and in words I long most to hear—'Do not fear’—'It is I’/And surges of peace within me rise,/waters calm, waves subside./I can see the truth before me—/’Do not fear!’—It’s calling to me.”
In a poem titled “The Higher Law,” Zawisz gives voice to the power of Divine Love: “I have a language—all of my own./My constructs—they’re alien to everything you ‘know.’/My reasoning transcends your every earthly law/that governs the logic of your every thought./I am not bound by common sense,/logic just does not apply where my kindness is concerned./Compassion for me is the higher law./My justice is the outcome of care’s decisions./I govern not your world—but the Kingdom of Heaven.” A Christian Gift: Uplifting Poetry for All Occasions is something any reader or poetry lover can enjoy.