While searching the shelves of an antiquated out-of-the-way bookstore in Nashville, I came across a gem. I was a fan of the author, but had not heard of this particular book, and was excited to come across a fiction story from a writer I typically only knew for motivational non-fiction works. What I did not expect what to find so much truth among the pages of fiction.
I fell in love with a story that has become timeless, beginning over 800 years ago and spanning to the modern day despite its original 2006 publication date and 2013 reprint. The validity of the message was as current today as it was so many years ago. Are you living what you really believe?
The reader dives into the life and heart of Chase Falson, a pastor that is struggling to see the relevance or impact of his ministry and feels the ground beneath his foundation of faith beginning to crumble. That statement alone snatched at my heartstrings, knowing there are so many in the world right now looking into a mirror that reflects core questions of faith. The brave exploration of this very real dilemma makes it a must-read for those who are asking why.
As Chase Falson is asked to take a break as lead pastor after a gut-wrenching and public revelation of his doubt, he chooses to spend the time off in pursuit of the answers to his questions of faith, and he starts at the doorstep of Saint Francis of Assisi. As Chase follows the life and story of Saint Francis by walking where he walked, Chase begins to rediscover why he believes what he believes and envisions a ministry that doesn’t just preach to others but also reaches them.
I, being a lover of history, thoroughly enjoyed the detailed research of truths that seem to span the test of time. Ian Morgan Cron asks the questions others ignore and takes the reader on a journey in which it is not only okay to ask the questions but encouraged. If we could all be so blessed as to speak with that kind of authenticity. This story is human and genuine, and despite its fiction label, it holds sincere truths we all should looking for. Why are we here and why do we do what we do? Are we just checking a box we were told to check or are we engaged in mission and ministry with our lives as well as our mouths.
I really do love a good true story. Even if it is fiction.