Several weeks ago I picked up this book at Target and flipped through it. I was drawn in by the foreward that the families had written about why they decided to share their story. It was so beautifully worded, so carefully phrased, so miraculous in it's content. I didn't have the money to buy it that day, but when someone gave me a giftcard, I went back and bought it.
I was immersed for two days in their story.
It is amazing. It is shocking. It is Jesus.
I remember seeing an article in People Magazine about the curious story: two blond girls from the same college are in a van that is hit by a truck that crosses the median. One girl dies. One girl is badly injured and in a coma. The family of the deceased trusts that the ID near her was the correct ID, and they mourn their lost daughter. Six weeks later, after the girl in the coma wakes up, and is asked her name, she tells them. She is the wrong girl. There was a mix-up. An unfortunate mix-up. A heartbreaking mix-up.
There aren't many words to describe what these families went through. I can't even imagine what it is like to bury your daughter, only to have her miles away in a hospital. The book tells the story so gently. You feel it. I cried. Several times. But not for the reason you think. This excerpt tells it better than I can (I have no permission to print this, but I don't think they'll mind.)
"It is a horrible thing to lose a child. Yet in the midst of the worst of tragedies, God reveals Himself. These are not just words we use to keep our spirits up during difficult days. We have experienced this revealation for ourselves. Above all things, this is the message we hope to convey. This is a story about God's grace and His love for us that transcends the worst this world can dish out.
None of us are in any way unique or special. We are simply average people who have accepted God's love for us, demonstrated through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. God has proven Himself faithful to each of us, giving comfort and strength when in our humanness we were in great need. And His faithfulness has deepened our trust in Him.
The story of how two girls, Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, could be mistaken for each other may seem fantastic and unbelievable, yet that's not the real story here. This book is really about how God has sustained two families through His grace.
We hope after all that is said on these pages, you see it is really all about Him."
Are you choked up? I get a little misty just typing it. It is an amazing book about life, loss and putting your trust in the maker of all things. What an unique opportunity to use your life to witness.
That all being said, I will do a drawing for the book to pass it on. I request that after you read it, you do a drawing and pass it on. Keep it going, I challenge you. I think many of you will be touched by the words on these pages and want to share it as well. You will. Post a comment if you are interested. I will draw a name next Wednesday and announce the winner.
If you win, buy a box of tissues and clear your calendar.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at fifty
21 hours ago