The Scent of Water

Grace for Every Kind of Broken 

Authored by Naomi Zacharias, The Scent of Water, Grace for Every Kind of Broken is a collection of stories of women Naomi met through her work directing the mission of Wellspring International with pieces of her own story woven through. With a powerful foreword penned by Bernice A. King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., this book confronts various forms of injustice affecting humanity today. But it is a face you will see, rather than simply an issue. Travel alongside Naomi through different countries and corners of the world. Meet women working in brothels in Amsterdam, trafficked in Mumbai, survivors of an Indonesian tsunami, a young girl waiting on an operation that could save her life, and a mother who lost her infant son.  


“I was nervous to write,” says Zacharias. “I didn’t see myself as a writer, and I was afraid of failing at something I had not set out to do. I was failing enough at what I had set out to do.” But these encounters and stories had profoundly impacted her life and she believed they could do the same for another. She believed these voices deserved to be heard. 

“The question of human suffering is one of the most difficult questions for the Christian to answer,” she says. “There is a particularity to human suffering that cannot be duplicated. Even if two people were to experience the same tragedy, there would still be a distinct and personal response to that tragedy that cannot be matched. I once read a this quote: “Each man suffers in a way that no other man suffers.” Yet when we witness the suffering of another, something in the vulnerability of the human experience resonates within us. Perhaps we better understand our own fragility. Perhaps we are able to grasp a hope for ourselves and for humanity. Ultimately, perhaps it is standing face to face with the reality that even in its harshest blows, suffering still affirms that each life carries an intrinsic value and significance that cannot be snuffed out - regardless of the horror of the violation, regardless of survival or surrender. 

Through stories completely different from her own and wrought with a kind of suffering she could not fathom, Zacharias found that she began to better understand her own heartache and her own story. This remains her prayer for each reader. 

Published by Zondervan, 2010. 216 pages.