Thursday, July 22, 2010
Book Review: Simon's Crossing
Simon's Crossing: A Novel
By Charles William Asher and Dennis Patrick Slattery
Publisher: iUniverse, 2010
English, 172 pages
Enter the biblically historic world of Simon of Cyrene, where a world of grief, revenge, and tender devotion awaits. There, families are torn apart, marauding soldiers enact their violent ways, and random events suddenly disrupt life. Along this journey there will be encounters with Pontius Pilate, Veronica, Mary, and the sons of Simon, Rufus and Alexander, as they seek to grasp the mystery of a compassionate Nazarene, serenely putting into practice the kingdom of God.
Forced to carry the cross of Jesus, Simon of Cyrene, a little known biblical figure, reluctantly yields to his task. At the same time, Simon struggles with personal loss and a fiery desire for revenge. In Simon's story, the vulnerability of our own journeys is laid bare as we cross paths with a simple wooden cross and a redemptive twist of fate.
In Simon's Crossing, this ordinary man, from Cyrene, steps boldly out of the pages of the Bible. He senses that his own life depends on the Nazarene staggering just ahead of him. Persuaded by sacrificial love, we too discover what it is like to cross over into the imaginal power of a story well-told, where salvation lies close at hand. Simon's story compels us to carry on as well.
Wow. Not since Mel Gibson' Passion have I been moved as much when thinking about the story of Jesus on the Cross. I can't hardly begin to tell you the emotions that were stirred. This book, while a fictionalization of Simon's life, is so well done you will feel like you're there with him. I'm really at a loss for words to describe how moving and realistic this book is. I'm recommending it to everyone in my Sunday School class (and my readers). The book is graphic, but wasn't the crucifixion? Shouldn't we be made aware of how brutal an act is was? Shouldn't we be stirred by it?
There were many tender moments between Jesus and Simon as they walked to Golgotha. While I'm not sure they did happen, who's to say something like it didn't? It was interesting to note that as Simon remembered his pain and anger, there were effects on Jesus. (You have to read it to understand.)
It's clear the authors have a strong faith and love for our Savior. I'm grateful for the opportunity to read their book.
A copy of the book was provided to me from the authors. No other compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review. Seriously though, you need to read this.