Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale

I should have known from the teaser on the front of the book that this was not going to be my normal read.
"Reading this book may cause a total overhaul of the way you think about what it means to be a follower or Christ."  Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author

Honestly, this book has been on my nightstand for a bit.  I first heard of it through Angie Smith.  I can't remember if it was her book Chasing God or the audiobook, Mended, that I first heard of this book...but I knew that I wanted to read it.

So when we were packing up our bedroom for the move into the new house, I threw this book into my bag instead of in the 'book' box.  I knew that I would have a little more time to read over the holidays and I didn't want to lose this one.  I began reading it a few days after Christmas and I finished it last night.

From the book jacket:
What happens when the pastor of a megachurch loses his faith?
Pastor Chase Falson has lost his faith in God, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and his super-sized megachurch.  When he falls apart, the church elders tell him to go away: as far away as possible.
Join Chase on his life-changing journey to Italy where, with a curious group of Franciscan friars, he struggles to resolve his crisis of faith by retracing the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, a saint whose simple way of loving Jesus changed the history of the world.
Though Chase had begun questioning his faith months before the 'fatal Sunday sermon' that sent him into Sabbatical, it was the death of a 9 year old girl from his congregation that pushed him over the edge. I know that feeling.  I've lived those dark questions...and, like Chase, I came out on the other side a changed person.

For Chase it was a two month Sabbatical in Italy with his uncle, a former Baptist who converted to Catholicism after the death of his wife years earlier.  As Chase learns more about Saint Francis of Assisi, he finds that he hasn't so much lost his faith as that the Lord has ripped off the facade of misplaced faith.

I loved the story, and I learned a lot about Saint Francis in the process.

My favorite quote:
"'...the radically unprotected life, a life that's cruciform in shape', he said, opening his arms to mimic the posture of Jesus on the cross. 'It's to live dangerously open, revealing all that we genuinely are, and receiving all the pain and sorrow the world will give back in return.  It's to be real because we know the Real.  maybe living the unprotected life is what it means to be a Christian?'"          Page 71
I actually have four pages of quotes in my reading journal, if that tells you anything about how much I enjoyed this book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe I need to pick up this book. I feel like I'm suppose to be doing something but I'm not sure what that something is yet.