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The Grace That Keeps This World

1924 words - 8 pages

The Grace That Keeps This World is a novel about a man named Gary Hazen who lives with his wife and two sons in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in a close-knit community. He depends on hunting and working outdoors as a means of survival to take care of his family. He has two sons whose names are Gary David, who is the oldest, and Kevin, who is the youngest. His dream is that his two young sons will follow in his footsteps, becoming avid hunters who work and live off of the land. Gary Hazen’s original dream for his two young sons does not fully become realized. Kevin goes away to college and is unsure of where his future will take him but begins to say he no longer wants to hunt because ...view middle of the document...

This is shown when Bailey states, “He tried to fathom the deep pain of growing up without a father-of not knowing what a father was, like it or not, the acts of fathering, the acts of a father, the actions that were the nature and gift and pain and pleasure of true fatherhood” (259-260). When Kevin sees his father almost dying, he begins to think of the fatherless children in the world. He extends grace towards fathers in general by thinking how important a role they play in a child’s life, regardless of the mistakes that they might make. After thinking about fathers in general, he then thinks about his own father and as Bailey puts it, “ The caring-the carefulness-which was the belief in holding on to something worth preserving and passing on. Love. Kevin felt the tide of emotion that had been at its lowest ebb flowing back into him again. He looked to his Dad”. (259-260). Instead of remaining angry at his Dad for previous conflicts or for accidentally shooting his brother, Kevin extends grace to his Dad when he chooses instead to think and remember about all the love and caring his father has ever shown him. When he begins to feel that love for his father, his emotions pick up and that gives him the grace to keep on going without emotionally breaking down.
Not only does grace sustain Kevin emotionally, it also helps give Kevin the strength and courage to keep his Dad alive. This is shown when Kevin hears himself saying aloud: “I love you, too, Dad”. (260). Right after this statement, Kevin is sitting by the fire near his Dad and remembers as Bailey says, “of what all along, his father had really been trying to teach Gary David and him about surviving in the cold. Then without his having to further think about it or even plan, Kevin angled his own stored warmth down over his father. He closed his eyes and dreamt that the rangers stumbled upon them just before dawn”. (260). After Kevin extends grace to his Dad by finally letting him know that he knows he loves him and that he also loves him in return, in spite of what has happened, he gains the courage and strength to put his own warmth over his father. This grace keeps his father by saving his life. It also kept Kevin by giving him that strength to act and not just sit there in a daze, emotionally distraught where he does not know what to do, which often happens in these types of situations. He now kept hope alive that he and his father could both survive this situation, which was reflected in his dream about the ranger finding them.
After both Kevin and Gary Hazen survive the accident and Gary Hazen recovers, he extends grace to both Kevin and his fiancée Jeanie by letting them come to live with him and his wife, Susan, even insisting that Gary finish college. Bailey states that, “People said that when he got out of the hospital and was able to go back to work in the woods it was Gary Hazen who insisted Kevin return to school. Now when Kevin isn’t in class studying to be a teacher he works...

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