4 out of 4 stars
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Blindsided: A Journey from Tragic Loss to Triumphant Love by Mark C. Roser chronicles a father's loss and his quest to find answers to why and how his son's life ended abruptly. Writing this book for Mark is part of his journey — a remembrance of the ever joy-filled, Christ-loving, and promising young man Ethan was. In the end, by dying, Ethan partakes in the redemption story. In his life, we see the permissive and perfect will of God at work, a call to share in Christ's suffering, and the glory of God made manifest amid a tragedy. For multitudes asking similar questions on "why," Ethan's story illuminates the path to enlightenment. For Christians, death is not the end but the beginning of everlasting happiness.
For a parent, losing a child is one of the worst pain imaginable. For Christians, it might bring up questions and doubts on the authenticity of God's promises. Navigating through this challenging time can be tough, but God's love is ever-present, even in sorrow and despair. As we grieve, God comforts us in many ways, through his word as well as people and events that happen around us. Although we grieve differently, our shared heritage as Christians calls us to understand suffering from God's perspective and allows us to grow in faith. The perfect will of God sometimes may vary from our expectations, but with faith and undying belief, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (quoted from the Bible).
This book is apt for Christian parents dealing with the loss of a child. The author isn't reserved about his struggles and how he overcame them, including the fight to understand how his son died and ensure his son's legacy is upheld. No two persons can interpret loss the same way. However, the author's 30 points of comfort help navigate this painful terrain. This book is one of the steps in keeping the memory of Ethan alive, not only for his loved ones but also to preserve his message of God's enormous love. In it, Ethan gets to continue to spread the message of faith and love. His death is, therefore, gain for heaven and humanity, as his story is touching lives.
This editing of this book is good, with very minimal errors. This book means a lot to the author. The delicate attention to detail speaks of his love for his son and commitment to continuing the gospel of hope. Each chapter dealt with a specific part of their grief process, and the stories therein drive home his points. Biblical passages are quoted and explained as the need arises, and the reader is not left in doubt about the message of this book. As someone who has experienced loss myself, this book was helpful in its assurances of a glorious future for those who died in Christ. It especially says: "Christ in you, the hope of glory." The author has done an excellent job, and hopefully, Ethan's story will bring a deeper understanding of the redemption story.
I will recommend this book to Christians dealing with the death of a dear one, especially for parents who have lost a child. For people faced with the challenge of comforting the bereaved, this book will also give pointers on how to help. I will rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Its message is like a double-edged sword — piercing and healing. It is also a testament to two sides of the same coin: restitution and redemption. There's absolutely nothing to dislike about it.
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