"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me" John 14:1
Written by Kevin L. Howard   

August 20, 2004


Dear Mr. Yancey,


I’ve just finished reading Soul Survivor and I wanted to tell you I loved it.  I’ve known about you for years, occasionally reading your articles in Christianity Today.  But I finally read one of your books, and I must read more.  Fortunately, my wife has several.


I work as a writer myself at [deleted] and related to much of what you said in Soul Survivor.  I also grew up in the South in a similar church setting.  Thanks for giving us this work of art.  The Lord has ministered to me through you. 


Please allow me to quote my favorite line from your book: "No matter where I start, I usually end up writing about pain.  My friends have suggested various reasons for this propensity: a deep scar from childhood, or perhaps a biochemical overdose of melancholy.  I do not know.  All I know is that I set out to write about something lovely, like the diaphanous wing of a mayfly, and before long I find myself back in the shadows, writing about the brief, tragic life of a mayfly."


I wept when I read those words.  In the movie Shadowlands, C.S. Lewis sees one of his students in a store stealing a book.  When Lewis confronts him about it later, they talk about loneliness and isolation.  One of them says, "We read to know that we're not alone."  When I read your words, I knew that I wasn't alone, that someone else was there too, tinkering in the edge of the shadows and suffering with issues of pain, poverty, and death.  Thanks for your vulnerability. 


I prayed for you and your family, because you must have so many responsibilities.  I hope I get to meet you some day, this side of heaven.




Kevin L. Howard



[Mr. Yancey replied with a kind letter on May 3, 2005.]

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