Day 3 of this month’s Tour, and I’m left pondering the central question posed by Mike Duran’s The Resurrection.
What would I do?
Say that, one day, I witnessed the resurrection of someone in my community. Not as part of a historical retrospective, or in the sense of them successfully completing drug rehab or emerging from depression, but literally returned to life, sitting up in the coffin, at the memorial service, after being pronounced not merely dead, but really, most sincerely dead. What would I do? How would I react? How would my life be different afterward?
It’s a good question. I hadn’t given it much thought before reading Mike’s book. I suppose my first reaction would be open-mouthed shock, then my brain would frantically attempt to process what I was seeing:
It must have been a coma after all. Kenny did take a pretty good shot to the head. He was always a lousy bowler. How did the doctors miss this? I smell a malpractice suit coming. Why is the organist still playing Nearer My God to Thee? It’s a good thing they didn’t perform an autopsy. That would have been bad. What if they’d embalmed him? That would have been worse. Ick. Hold on, Mrs. Ingeburton told me at the viewing they did embalm him. He looked pretty good except they parted his hair on the wrong side. Something always gets messed up. Dead people never really look natural. They’ll probably find some way to make me look like a doofus when I kick the bucket. Uh, oh, could be the Zombie Apocalypse. Left chainsaw at home, stupid stupid stupid. Don’t want to become a zombie. Deep breath. Keep it together. It’s just one stiff. We can probably take him. Kenny’s crying now, and he just kissed his mom. Do zombies cry? Could be surplus embalming fluid. Zombies definitely do not kiss. Good–have confirmed Kenny is not a zombie. Organist bridging to Christ Arose. She probably can’t see over the flowers. Kenny is not dead, not zombie, must be…digital special effects! No, not possible–church budget too small for anything beyond overhead projector. Very loud in here now. Why is everybody kneeling?
Sigh. That’s probably closer to reality than I care to admit. Have I cost myself a few blessings along the way by over-analyzing something that I later realized was God’s wonderful intervention? No doubt. Some of it’s probably my upbringing.
When you grow up in a Pentecostal church, you see a lot of stuff. Some of it’s really cool. Some of it makes you scratch your head a little. Over the years, you observe a lot of people playing games with God to forward their own personal agenda, and it’s grievous, because it casts a shadow on the good parts. You become more cautious, more reserved, more likely to pause a moment or three before jumping on the bandwagon of the latest, greatest spiritual “movement.” That’s not such a bad thing, but you begin to wonder, as some characters in Mike’s story, and some of us on the Tour this week have wondered, where exactly the line between discernment and unbelief lies.
We crave the miraculous, but it seems in such short supply these days. Actually, when you look over the sweep of centuries covered by the Bible, and the number of dramatic, supernatural miracles reported, I’d venture to say they weren’t any more common than today. Anyway, if miracles were routine, we’d call them something else.
“Heard about another God Event over in Pineville. Tom Jackson got raised from the dead.”
“That makes five this week. I wish just once we’d see fire rain down from the sky or something.”
“There was that fish multiplication at Stoney Cove the other day.”
“I suppose. Not too fond of mackerel, myself.”
The really sad thing is that we’re surrounded by miracles we take for granted. For every flu bug that sneaks through the net, our immune systems stave off hundreds of debilitating, disfiguring diseases every day. God made us that way. It’s no less miraculous for being a natural process that science can explain. Likewise, the precise balance of planetary mechanics, chemistry, physics, and biology necessary for life to be possible on Earth is so improbable it boggles the mind. Change a few molecules in the mix or jigger the orbit a little, and Earth would be no more hospitable than Venus or Mars. A miracle? I think so.
I’ve never felt the need for miracles to buttress my faith. The story of salvation, and the change it creates in the lives of those who embrace it, is plenty amazing. I don’t however, want to lose my sense of awe at God’s work in and for us. I don’t want to fail to recognize a miracle, or be excited and inspired by it, when one comes my way.
I expect I’ll be thinking a lot about miracles, and my response to them, over the next few weeks, thanks to Mike Duran’s book. If a primary purpose of Christian spec-fic is to stir people to thoughtful reflection about their relationship with God, I’d say that’s mission accomplished.
Note to self: Chainsaw out of gas. Refuel.
That’s it for my piece of this month’s CSFF Blog Tour. Come back in April, when we’ll take a look at The Strange Man, Greg Mitchell.
Oops, that’s The Strange Man, by Greg Mitchell. See you then.
The CSFF Blog Tour:
Book Reviews By Molly
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
>>This review is based upon a copy of the book provided to me free of charge by the publisher, a courtesy I appreciate, but which does not guarantee my recommendation. I strive to evaluate every book I review purely on its intrinsic merits.<<