Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Open by David Gregory
The story is based around Emma receiving a letter that tells her to go through the nearest open door for an adventure with Jesus. When she does this, she is transported back in time, witnessing firsthand some of the stories told in the gospels. She is able to gain a better perspective of what these encounters with Jesus meant for the people involved, and begins to see her own story in them. Emma also has several conversations with Jesus, opening her eyes to the true path of spiritual growth.
I was asked to share in this review how I related to the character's experience with Jesus. There have definitely been times in my journey that my spiritual life has felt empty when compared to what I hear others have experienced. I've learned over the years not to compare...that one person's plan for spiritual growth/connecting with Jesus may not work for another. I could relate to this truth that Jesus shared with Emma in the story. He says "The only one who can make you grow spiritually, Emma, who can make you more like me - is me. Spiritual disciplines in themselves have no power to transform you...I'm not telling you not to do them. They can be vital. But they only benefit you if they keep you focused on me. On me personally, not as a concept...They're simply to help you know me, the faithful one who loves you perfectly and acts on your behalf powerfully." It reminded me that relationship, not checking things off a to-do list, is the way to grow.
If you like short books that give you something to ponder, you will enjoy this one. It doesn't have a lot of character development like you would find in a longer story, but just enough background to allow you to find common ground with Emma and go along on the "adventure".
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.