I finished A Place Called Blessing: Where Hurting Ends and Love Begins a few days ago and I’ve been thinking since then. Some books are like that. Sometimes, I finish a book and I can immediately sit down and write about it. Other times, I have to give it a day or two to sink in, or to think about what I want to say. Honestly, it’s a good book. I just can’t say unequivocally that I liked it. It made me cry too much. I don’t like books that make me cry. I read to either escape or learn, not to be sad.
The book is based on a previous book by Trent, The Blessing. According to Trent, the blessing “involves looking for specific ways to move toward others and provide them with five essential elements:
- Meaningful touch
- A spoken message
- Attaching high value
- Picturing a special future
- An active commitment”
Trent says we are called by Jesus to do this as his followers. Obviously, we need to care for others and take care of each other, but the verses noted only speak of God’s blessing to his people and say nothing of these elements. I’m not saying these aren’t Biblical principles; God does attach a high value to us (Matthew 10: 29-31), and we do have a special future, not just in Heaven, but here on Earth (John 10:10). I guess I’m saying the author should have used verses like these to demonstrate his point instead of only the ones he gave (Gen 12:2, 1 Peter 3:9).
The story itself is heartbreak after heartbreak, with some love and a little hope thrown in. As a small child, Josh lost his parents in a drunk-driving accident. (Not that they were doing much for him and his brothers anyway, but they were his parents.) Then a tragic mistake separates him from his brothers. So I cried for the first 30 pages of the book. Eventually, he grows up, and meets Mike at work. Mike and his mother, Anna, become Josh’s new family and he finally experiences all the love, nurturing, and “blessing” he didn’t get as a child. That part of the story is wonderful. It’s not all sunshine and roses, and there are some rough patches, but Josh learns that he really is worthy of love and families aren’t always related by blood.
Then I cried for the last 30 pages. I won’t tell you more because it would spoil the story. But, really, it’s only 159 pages and I cried through 60 of them. That’s almost 40% of the book. That’s too much “sad” for me. But if you ignore that, this really is a good book.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com