When I decided to read The Encounter: Sometimes God has to Intervene by Steve Arterburn, I was really unsure whether I would like the book, the author or the story. I took a giant leap of faith here. The first reason I was hesitant was truthfully, I am not a big fan of fiction. I really like to read more practical and useful types of books and committing to a fiction read for review could have put me in a dangerous position, if I hated the book. I am also a tortuously slow reader. If I am not getting it, I keep at it until I get it or just quit. Not an option when you need to share your opinion. After all you have to at least get through it all to form an valid opinion. The second concern I had was that I had read a number of book reviews and they were not positive. What I found to be the key in committing to jumping in was the description of the book itself as a journey toward healing and the promise of a parable type story capitalizing on the concepts of acceptance, forgiveness, and grace. I knew the author was a man who had a whole lot of self-help and practical psychology up his sleeve as well as spiritual knowledge. I was curious how this would work itself out in his fiction writing. So with great trepidation I finally picked up the book. That was yesterday. I could not put it down. Period. It drew me in, and brought me to tears. I was grateful for the journey. Steve Arterburn brings to life the story of wealthy and powerful Jonathon "Gold" Rush who has unresolved issues from his past, and an unwillingness to let go of his anger, bitterness and hate toward the one person he believes is responsible for the pain. His mother. Apparently life in the fast lane, success and money has not been able to satisfy, pacify or quench the deep, longing for answers that have plagued him since childhood. Under the advisement of his counselor, he takes a journey back to the past for answers. Travelling from Miami to Alaska seeking, somewhat reluctantly to find the healing he needs, yet has been running from his whole life. Along the way he meets an unlikely reporter (who could be in need of healing herself- sequel material I think), and a number of others who direct him to the one person who may be able to help him. If he can accept her terms. I so enjoyed the redemptive themes woven throughout this book and the raw emotion that was expressed through the characters. I would like to see a sequel, and more character development as I enjoyed getting to know them. I would recommend this book to those who themselves have experienced abandonment, abuse, rejection or neglect at the hands of another. At the end Steve shares a personal story that enriches and furthers the purpose of his fiction writing and brings the lessons of grace, truth and healing through the forgiveness of Christ home for each of us. There is also a "Solitude and Discussion Guide" for reflection and/or group sharing. Mr. Arterburn, two words: More, please. Oh, and thank you! This was an easy, enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Steve Arturburn is a bestselling author, host of New Life Live! and founder of Women of Faith
A wealthy businessman travels to Fairbanks, Alaska, to learn why his mother abandoned him when he was a child, and in the process learns that not everything is as it appears to be.
The Encounter, the unique new book from best-selling author and counselor Stephen Arterburn, is a moving parable involving Jonathan Rush, a wealthy and famous entrepreneur, who is tortured by bitterness toward his mother who abandoned him when he was four. He travels to Alaska to find her but instead meets an enigmatic old woman known only as Mercy. Mercy has the information he needs but is strangely reluctant to talk to him. Somehow Jonathan must find a way to persuade a frightened woman to unlock the secrets of his past.
The book includes an invitation to the readers to verify the facts of their own stories, to accept the reality of their existence, especially the most painful ones, and to live in forgiveness. The end result is a healthy new way to look at life with an ability to share hope with others for the future. Healing is possible but requires truth, acceptance, and forgiveness, including of oneself.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.