Sunday, September 29, 2013
When facing the impossible, will you believe?
Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker . . . and then go out.
All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church's large wooden cross--leaving it ablaze and splintered in two.
When the storm ends--the search for answers begins.
James Lindy, the church's blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity. And he hears the words "only believe."
Macey Lewis, the town's brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who's recently been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine--yet is challenged to "only believe."
And Alex's single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening . . . to save her son. But she only hears silence and wonders how she can possibly "only believe."
This book was unique and what some would call a "high concept" novel. It reminded me of a novel I read a long time ago title "Eli," and that story had a modern day Jesus type of plot. I always find those concepts fascinating to explore. This story was different in that it didn't parallel the life of Jesus. Instead, there were some pretty amazing miracles that took place and the character Kenneth always tied them to a scripture. This novel dealt with the why questions that many people ask. The ultimate answer is God knows what He is doing, so the author didn't try to play God in that respect, which I appreciated. When we come to the end of ourselves, then we can see God working in our lives regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, hence the "only believe" phrase that is a constant theme in this book.
The author is a skilled writer. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the way into the story I could not pull myself away from wanting to know what happened next. And those last 100 pages... well, let's just say I kept running my finger across my lower lid and wiping my cheek with my palm. Anyone can insert themselves into the story and think about how they would feel and what they would do. Unlike most contemporary stories, however, this felt more authentic when it came to people resisting the truth and doubting God's existence. The author painted a believable scenario with well-rounded and unique characters. I think Charlie and Alex were my favorites in the story. I enjoyed this book and the author's writing and would have given it five stars but it started out a bit slow for me. Other than that it was a perfect story. There are some deep truths in there and plenty of content to make you think more about your faith.
Remember, I'm giving away 5 copies, so tell your friends. Maybe you could start a reading group with this book if enough of you win it!
And now for the question... What does the phrase "only believe" make you think about?