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Reviewed by Jorja Davis for Readers' Favorite
Elizabeth Chalker suffers from late stage lyme disease, probably fatal, offering nothing but a slow, agonizing death. Lyme disease is complicated and compounded by other serious health issues that have left her bedridden and mostly alone. In this roaring furnace where she experiences daily frustration, unbearable pain, and, like Job, unjustifiable suffering, she has found the time to walk with unbound faith and trust in God.
In reading her book, the reader will first be a witness, and soon her friend. Then her story will become yours. At times, her cries to God for salvation are so powerful and passionate that the reader will have to stop reading to think. "Hanging by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind" is a book to be read slowly and carefully. There is a force in Chalker’s book that moves faith from something on a page to a raw, living hope you know she has not asked. Chalker’s risk, trust, and unfinished faith lie bared to draw the reader into a relationship with the living God.
Chalker writes her prayers, poetry and devotions with blunt honesty. The gamut of emotions will take the reader to the depths and heights of misery and joy. If you are hurting, crying out in anger or fear, this is a book that will walk with you into your most barren places. If you know someone who seems to be weighed down with their hurts and their needs, this book has a place on their shelf beside C. S. Lewis’s "The Problem of Pain" and Philip Yancey’s "Where Is God When It Hurts?" It is a terrible, dark place that can only be lit by God's grace in all the ways it comes.