Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crossroads



Title:  Cross Roads
Author:  Wm. Paul Young
Pages: 304
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Faith Words
                What happens to those who are in a comatose state?  Tony Spencer, a man full of anger and paranoia, discovers that life is more than the world as he once saw it when he succumbs to a brain tumor-induced coma.
                Tony finds himself in a strange place where he meets an interesting array of people, including C.S. Lewis, Jesus, and a mysterious Lakota woman, who lead him through the netherworld between earth and heaven in order to help him understand and overcome his pain and anger. 
                Wm. Paul Young weaves a tale full of metaphors and allegory to show that a man, bitter because his son died at a young age, can still have a chance to encounter inner healing and demolish the walls of an inner prison that he had created out of his pain and suffering.  The protagonist, Tony, is shown several important lessons about his own life as Jesus, C.S. (Jack) Lewis, and the grandmotherly Lakota woman, who is a personification of the Holy Spirit, walk and talk with him as well as allow him to see the world through the eyes of other people, including a teen boy with Down’s Syndrome, the boy’s nurse, and a few others that he encounters.  Tony not only sees through the eyes of others, but he feels their emotions and interprets experiences through their perspectives.  In the midst of Young’s narrative, Tony discovers that he has allowed his ego to take control of his soul and build walls inside his heart to block out the love of his ex-wife and daughter.  When he realizes what he has done, he begins to make peace with himself, which causes the walls to crumble in order to open the door to a new life.
                Although the concept of one God manifested in three separate and distinct persons is a mystery too complex for finite minds to grasp, Young’s explanation by the character of Grandmother (the Lakota woman) is one that seems to make sense for people to understand it in human terms.  I like how Grandmother explains to Tony that a person is “a spirit interpenetrating a soul interpenetrating a body.  But it is not simply interpenetration.  It is dance and participation.”  Furthermore, she tells Tony, “…you ‘are’ your body, and you ‘are’ your soul, and you ‘are’ your spirit.  You are an interpenetrated and interpenetrating whole, a unity of diversity but essentially a oneness.”
                Initially, I had difficulty reading Cross Roads.  It seemed to start slow, but I may have been projecting a false lack of interest due to the nature of the protagonist being in a coma and in the process of dying, which is a reminder of the recent loss of a loved one.  However, by the time I read about a third of the way through the book, I found myself not wanting to put it down.  I recommend Wm. Paul Young’s Cross Roads for those who have doubted past decisions or who have dealt with bitterness and pain, loss and misery.  Not only does Young have a good story but also a strong message involving love’s restoration and forgiveness.
                My rating of Cross Roads is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
               
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