Variations on the theme of cover: reveal, conceal, and protection

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Faith, Writing and Reading | 0 comments |

“I love the cover of your book,” said a woman who stopped by our booth at the local Farmers Market on Saturday morning. She picked up my book then glanced at Keith’s. “I love both books,” she said. The word “cover” can mean to protect or conceal. Covers do protect our books, but they also reveal something about the stories.

Cover reveals

The Starflower’s cover shows an alien hand reaching for a flower against a field of stars. The starflower is a weed that blooms at night on the frontier plant where the protagonist Gayle Zimmon grew up. Her military call sign is The Starflower, a nickname given to her by genetically engineered humans deriding Zim for being a natural human being. And the alien? One of many in Keith’s epic science fiction novel. 

You might have guessed that the cover for Wisdom Builds Her House is based on a photograph, which is now my site banner. Thanks to publisher’s designer and my website consultant, the picture I took of our house in the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking the Rockfish Valley brands the book and my site: Exploring the Third Season of Life.

Cover variations

When writing about this season of life, I often use variations of the word cover: discover, uncover, recover. At an open mic last Thursday evening, I read from my essay titled “The Three Graces.” The essay was published last summer by Please See Me, an online literary magazine about health narratives. In the three-part-three-story braid, I wrote about how the loss of our beloved dog Heathcliff in 2021 helped me uncover the truth about two more complicated loses: my ex-husband in 2019 and my mother in 2020. What did I discover while writing about loss and grief? Selfishness makes a mess of my actions and relationships; grace and mercy help me recover the person I was created to be.

Cover conceals and protections

The first cover to conceal happened with Adam and Eve. Then, it was as if their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves. Genesis 3:7 (NCV) In her soon-to-be-released devotional study, Names of God: Living Unafraid, Grace Fox writes, “Our best efforts to make ourselves morally blameless are as ineffective as the fig leaves Adam and Eve used to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).” God sees all and judges; He also rescues.

The Lord God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them. Genesis 3:21 (NCV) Grace Fox: “In his mercy, God exchanged their flimsy, man-made coverings for clothing made from animal skins; but providing this better covering meant shedding blood (verse 21).” And there’s more!

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4 Grace Fox: “In unspiritual terms, imagine exchanging a dirty, ripped-up bathrobe found in a dumpster for a brand-new designer robe fit for royalty. That’s what God has done for us. He has us covered in the righteousness department—literally. What a gift of immeasurable worth!”


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