by Christine Farenhorst
2002 / 182 pages
Christine Farenhorst is a superb storyteller. The Great Escape is a collection of forty short stories about events in the lives of Christians and unbelievers: each story teaches, each tale tells about the role of God in the lives of his subjects.
Every story is interesting and absorbing. In about three pages each tells about a person or an event in a manner that teaches solid lessons about victories or failures of people throughout the ages. We read about Houdini, the escape artist, who could not escape from death. We read about the fictitious Lester Green, who convinced many gullible people that a cold car engine could be started by putting two hens on the car hood. We read about the orphan John Sebastian Bach, who ended all his musical compositions with “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God alone the glory). We read about the many Roman emperors who persecuted the believers. We read about princes and paupers, believers and unbelievers, the famous and the infamous, people from our own times and people long dead, and we smile, and sometimes shed a tear.
It’s a good book, a good read, a treasure worth acquiring, just based on the well-told stories. But there is more!
“The media, with its grasping secularism, has become the main voice in many households as lax fathers and mothers relinquish their holds on the spiritual lives of their children…” As individual family members we “are to speak intimately to each other of the things pertaining to God’s kingdom and of what He has brought about in [our] lives” So writes Christine in her introduction. And so it is that at the end of each story are two questions. Just two! But each is powerful food for thought. Christine prays that her stories and questions “will encourage parents to speak with their children, and children to discuss with their parents, what God’s love and bounty has done in their lives and in the lives of past saints.”
“Soli Deo Gloria.” To God alone the glory. But with God’s help these “devotions” will trigger such discussions.
The book is a rare treasure, a must for all parents!
My only caution is that some stories might be too intense, but only for very young children.
Without the questions, it’s a fantastic read, but when you add them in it becomes a wonderful tool for parents and children to talk together about what God has done in their lives, and in the lives of saints in the past.