Friday, July 24, 2009
Kathi Macias's My Son, John ~ Reviewed
My Son, John
By Kathi Macias
Published By: Sheaf House
Murder. Could there be a more chilling word! When Liz Peterson’s elderly mother is found viciously beaten to death in her home, Liz and her husband, Charles along with their grown son, John, and teenage daughter, Sarah, struggle to make sense of a senseless act. And then a second blow—more devastating, if possible, than the first—rocks them to their core. John is arrested for his grandmother’s murder. As what’s left of the Peterson family begins to crumble under the weight of loss and accusation, the Petersons’ longstanding Christian faith is put to the test in a way they could never have imagined and unconditional love is stretched to its limits. Can God’s grace reach even to the deepest agony of the soul and bring healing to a family torn apart by a brutal crime?
How can a family survive news like this? First Liz’s mother is murdered and now her son, John, is arrested for her murder. Things have gone from bad to worse. How could something like this happen to their family? They were so close—or so she thought.
After her mom’s funeral, Liz says, “We were the type of family who instinctively circled the wagons when threatened. Why would any of us handle this nightmare involving my mother’s murdered in any other way?”
Liz thought about her mother’s murder nearly all the time, even though she would love to pretend none of this happened. She’d love to wake up tomorrow and everything be back to the way it was. But, “Sadness squeezed her heart and made it hard to breathe. Was she going crazy? How long before the pain went away? What if it never did?”
Her life had come to this, “It was as if the world had gone mad, as if everything familiar had been snatched away in an instant, replaced with a pain-filled, upside-down version of the life we had once known and enjoyed. Intellectually, I had been aware that people—families—experienced this sort of thing daily, but it had never crossed the line and become personal. Until now.”
God? She knew Him once. What had happened to their relationship? Liz begins to wonder if she should dare call on Him now. She realizes their family has replaced God as the focal point and says, “Was that so bad? Was it so abnormal to get caught up in the day-to-day care of our families—our children—that they soon began to take priority over God in our affections and attention? Surely God understands?” Right?
Liz can’t stand the thought that maybe her son, John, might have done the unthinkable. Oh God, how does she deal with that? “How do I forgive John and keep loving him? How is that possible? He is my only son. Why is this happening?” She knows all this was way beyond anything she could do on her own. She needed supernatural healing help that only God could give. All she had to do was reach out, and be willing to ask God for help. It just seemed the task was too overwhelming right now. But she had to do something life as she had enjoyed it, was gone. She had to hang onto what little she had left. Kathi Macias really gets to the heart of the many emotions that grip a family going through such a tragedy.
In the back of the book the author has discussion questions that go along with each of her chapters. There is a helpful “resource” section also in the back to help people learn more about prison ministries. Listed are ministries you can get involved with and their websites, along with other helpful information. This is a great resource for people who want to witness to those in prison and their families. This book will really make you stop and think ‘What if?’ and then give you hope that there is life after such a tragedy, But only with God’s help.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent - Book Club Servant Leader