By: Floyd Hughes Published by: Purple Pages CreateSpace Publication Date: December 2020 ISBN: 978-1-5464-6168-5 Reviewed By: Amy Lignor Review Date: April 27, 2021
First, we must deal with the pandemic. People are shut inside their homes facing boredom, anxiety over lost jobs and having no cash to sustain a family, and the feeling of utter hopelessness and panic that they’re either going to contract COVID-19, or the world will get so bad that we’ll end up living in the scariest Stephen King novel ever written. Then, as we enter the “backend” of the pandemic (hopefully), now we have more shootings, more racism, – and suddenly the bad things done by a few, transform into hatred and confusion for the many. Who is going to stop it? Who is going to once and for all ‘deny hatred’?
Along comes this book that is kind, calming, yet shows you there were those in the past that fought against doing something that even the highest power asked them to do. A book that shows there is a purpose for everything, and punishments can be handed down…but so can understanding and love.
This author, who is also a pastor, clears your mind, using what many refer to as the “Fish Story” (AKA: Jonah and the Whale). He shows you through Jonah’s struggles, choices, and conversations with God that it is an absolute impossibility to believe and have faith in Christ while having prejudice and bias in your heart. Through the chapters (verses) of the famous Bible story, the pastor shows you what was originally stated, translates that into how it pertains to the present issues we are all facing, and then offers a ‘prayer and action guide’ at the end of each chapter where he asks you point-blank questions – some humorous, some difficult – and then speaks to you about how God could or would help if you sought His teachings.
You have to understand that, historically, Jonah was a very real person who was a prophet mentioned in the Bible. He was living in a divided world when God called upon him to minister and bring God’s message to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Now, yes, people think about the whale, but the main points of the story are how, where, and why Jonah stepped across lines that ranged from racial to political in order to do what God asked.
Having gone through the pandemic, feeling all the fear and anxiety and then having those emotions transferred to constantly worrying about where the next life will be taken by gunshot or otherwise, this book truly helped me. Whether you already see the walls and the division of our glorious ‘kingdom’ or not, this book will show you how to deny hatred, and serve as one of those special guides of Christ to bring people together, instead of splitting them further apart.
This world has right and wrong; it always has. Beliefs have always been different, but after all this time, the base beliefs should be the same in one and all. Strength as a people is good, partnership is good, friendship is good, and NOT teaching the next generation (and the generation after that) hatred, would help to ensure that our teenagers and children don’t become jaded.
As the author states, there are times in the Book where you like Jonah, and times in the Book where he seems like a real jerk, but the end result is the same. Preaching the Word of God was a good thing that helped to save lives. In 2021, we need to remember that. And this is one author who has offered in a clear, concise, sometimes witty way, the opportunity to make this world do just that.
Quill says: Whether you are ‘faith-based’ or not, this book will help you get through the darkness and not talk down to you in the process.