As I'm sitting in my study, looking out the window, I'm drawn into the cozy summer Maine afternoon that is framed with multiple raindrops, occasional rumbles of thunder and shouts from our neighbor's kids as they jump into their pool in between the thunderclaps. The perfect kind of day to refresh with a glass if iced tea and curl up with a good book and indeed, I have one in hand: One for the Heart, by G. Raye Jones, a collection of inspirational and reflective poetry.
It is interesting to note Mr. Jones' early upbringing: he was born in a tenant house, with no indoor plumbing, in Rawlings, Virginia and worked in the tobacco fields until he entered college, choosing ministry and law as his career endeavors. Having begun life in this way, his path has taken many different twists and meanderings which the reader catches a glimpse of as the author shares with us events that have unfolded.
There are several themes that are woven throughout the poems, such as the true meaning of friendship, love and acceptance, admiration of family members that have unselfishly taught and shared valuable life lessons and faith that is found in his relationship with God. Each poem is dated to serve as guideposts along life's journey.
I once had a professor who said you could always tell when a reader was engaged in a good book: after reading for some time, the reader would pause and look up with a sign of personal reflection upon the face. That is how this book affected me. It isn't just a matter of reading words but rather reading the musings of a heart that has so much to share with the reader.
In the poem "Anchor Holds" Mr. Jones reveals the response to the storms and struggles experienced in life yet yielding to the touch of the potter's hands who molds the raw form of clay. He states that "He will let your faith, in His timing, turn into perfect sight." We are carried along through the remembrances of the author as he relates his first experiences of the Holy Land in "He Remembered Me" as well as early days working the tobacco fields in "I Remember." An intimate dialogue with God is revealed in "I Will not Rest" and "Her Daddy's Heart" proves to be a touching observance of the relationship between daughter and dad.
I highly recommend this thoughtfully crafted collection of poetry to enjoy during those contemplative moments when one wishes to step back from the busyness of life and reflect upon that which is lasting and meaningful.
Laure McCourt Lopez
G. Raye Jones was born in a tenant house in Rawlings, Virginia, and worked in tobacco fields until he left for college. Jones earned a BA and JD from University of Virginia and a Master of Laws degree from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. He is the pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"One for the Heart"
by G. Raye Jones