Review by Abacus -- No Dark Clouds by R W Nelson

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Review by Abacus -- No Dark Clouds by R W Nelson

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[Following is a volunteer review of "No Dark Clouds" by R W Nelson.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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This unique and intriguing book "is dedicated to the actual beggar children in India,” and today's “worldwide children's ministries...who strive to meet the needs of the orphaned, the homeless and the impoverished." No Dark Clouds begins with an introduction to the Taskmaster and the beggar children he abuses and compels to beg for him in Jerusalem. We feel the cruelty and callousness of the Taskmaster towards the beggar children.

For someone who was brought up in the Christian faith, the story of the ministry of Jesus Christ is familiar. Many of the people who became Christ’s supporters or disciples or who oppressed him are familiar names and characters in the book. The author has been skillful in weaving the beggar children and the Roman centurions into the story. The reader feels empathetic towards the children, and thus this age-old story is enhanced. The reader must think about the inhumanity still in the world today, and think about the man who suffered on the cross for our salvation.

At this time, Jerusalem and Israel have been under Roman rule for over two hundred years. The Romans are clamping down on any unrest to maintain control. Beggar Boy is a central character in the story; this resourceful boy ran away from a cruel master and became extremely skilled in scavenging for food and survival gear. He helps all the beggar children, and he always stands up for them and himself. A Centurion notices him and secures him a job in the garrison, and consequently, Beggar Boy has a task to perform during crucifixions which I will leave you to uncover for yourselves.

I liked the in-depth characterization of the beggar children. We follow their association with Jesus through various characters in the story. I love the way the story promotes the ambiance of a middle-eastern city of alleyways and slum areas. The story was formerly a film script and a musical, and you can see the development of the plot and the writing style support the idea of a production.

Like many historical stories, it does not matter how often you read them, the same ending inevitably happens. So, it is with this story. God is prepared to sacrifice his son to gain forgiveness for the world. Also, Jesus is aware of what is going to happen and is ready to suffer for humanity. He also rises again and appears to his associates. No Dark Clouds adds the poignancy of the beggar children and provides an enriching story which will undoubtedly enjoy broad appeal. It includes an intriguing surprise for you to uncover.

I am rating No Dark Clouds 4 out of 4 stars. It is not only a unique rendering of Christ’s ministry but has the touch of magic by intertwining the stories of the beggar children and Beggar Boy. The book is professionally edited, and I discovered no errors. It additionally has an in-depth study guide to the Bible which makes it much more than a historical drama. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because it is a cry from the heart of the author, for all Christians to help their neighbors, especially the orphaned, the homeless and the impoverished.

I recommend R.W. Nelson’s No Dark Clouds to all Christians, all non-Christians, people who appreciate history, religion, and stories that set you back on your heels to consider this world and our part in it. This book may be too painful to read for sensitive readers. The beating of Jesus, and the crucifixion and the descriptions of the beggar children’s afflictions are lurid, but their characters and the kindness of each make it bearable.

No Dark Clouds
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