Thursday, 19 September 2013
Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron
With Cron's deliciously witty and profound style of writing, I felt I journeyed with our protagonist Chase, an all-American pastor facing a crisis of faith, on his spiritual pilgrimage. Much to my delight, Chase's journey wasn't just a figurative one, as Cron took him to Italy to visit his Franciscan monk uncle. It was there that he was introduced to St. Francis of Assissi, whom, across the generations which separated them, patiently led him deeper into the loving heart of God in the midst of this painful world. Chase became fascinated by this historical figure and his testimony of faith, and in studying him, tracing his movements across the Italian countryside, he was led to meet interesting modern-day figures living out their journeys of faith and doubt in myriad ways. He began to see the world with different eyes. And he would never be the same.
I think Cron is a brilliant writer. Here he's written a novel, but also a biography, and even a deeply theological sermon all in one. His characters are believable and real, but they exist to teach. I felt I met with God in their stories on the page. And don't even get me started on his description of Italy!
Watch out for this writer. I don't think he'll disappoint. But especially, watch out for this book. Let it open your eyes to the depth and beauty of this God, even in the heartache of life on earth. Somehow the pain makes the beauty even more sweet...
* *I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255