The Poisonwood Bible

What does Nathans response to Mama Tatabas warning about the poisonwood and the garden reveal about his character?

Nathan is a reverand and a father

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Nathan's response exhibits his patience as both father and minister.

"Several days later, once Father had regained his composure and both his eyes, he assured me that MamaTataba hadn’t meant to ruin our demonstration garden. There was such a thing as native customs, he said. We would need the patience of Job. “She’s only trying to help, in her way,” he said.

This is what I most admire about Father: no matter how bad things might get, he eventually will find the grace to compose himself. Some people find him overly stern and frightening, but that is only because he was gifted with such keen judgment and purity of heart. He has been singled out for a life of trial, as Jesus was. Being always the first to spot flaws and transgressions, it falls upon Father to deliver penance. Yet he is always ready to acknowledge the potential salvation that resides in a sinner’s heart. I know that someday, when I’ve grown large enough in the Holy Spirit, I will have his wholehearted approval."


The Poisonwood Bible