Read the unedited whole truth

Published 10:17 pm Thursday, October 5, 2017

When Othel and I drop into the lives of our Birmingham grands for a visit, we step into science projects, memory verses, spelling words and book reports. This week, two book reports were sandwiched between football games, a tennis lesson and multiplication tables.

Shields had chosen “Unbroken,” the story of Louie Zamperini’s heroic and torturous experiences during WWII. It was the youth version but still a hefty volume for such a full family schedule. Since she was “down to the wire” for finishing it and writing her report, I volunteered to read a few chapters to her while she listened. It was really an excuse for the two of us to snuggle together on the couch.

Othel and I had seen the movie so I knew I could breeze through a few chapters and recall most of the episodes of POW camp. I was mistaken. 

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The movie had told only pieces of Zamperini’s story. The chapters turned quickly as we both became absorbed in the depth of man’s depravity.

The book extended beyond the movie version to share his salvation experience at a Billy Graham crusade. He was immediately freed from the mentally-destroying flashbacks and nightmares — even the alcoholism that was controlling his life.

Now I wanted to read the book version of his life, the much more informative source. As I thought about the difference in the versions, I thought how so many people base their opinions of God on the version they observe. They look for a “good” God in the hurricanes, diseases, mass shootings and turn away empty and doubting in a higher Power. But they are settling for the edited version. They need to read the book version — God’s autobiography of His great love that reaches out to all with the offer of forgiveness and salvation.

The Bible holds the unedited whole truth.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to