My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book. It was recommended to me by a big Ted Dekker fan after I complained about feeling “cheated” at the end of Dekker’s book Thr3e. He said that if I were only going to read one Dekker book, it should be Blessed Child, written with Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ).
This book is about a young boy named Caleb, who is raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian monk. He spends all ten years of his life in a monastery, sheltered from the world at large, before being abruptly wrenched from his adopted father and home to flee for his life in a violent and heart-stopping escape. Jason, a jaded Peace Corps worker, and Leiah, a Red Cross nurse, are Caleb’s rescuers and become his guardians. They become very aware of his unique gifting, and they attempt to make the right decisions, all the while struggling with their own personal journeys of loss and grief.
It, perhaps, goes without saying that this book is well-crafted. The characters are compelling, and the reader can quickly empathize with them in their thought processes. I have said before that I believe that Christian fiction can impact readers in a deeper way for God’s Kingdom than many inspirational or nonfiction works do. This book illustrates this view in the way that Dekker and Bright envision what “walking in the Kingdom” might look like here on earth. The miracles that Caleb performs and the ultimate experiences of Jason and Leiah help the reader to fully imagine for him or herself what could be. The book’s illustrations help us to see what we otherwise might miss when our eyes are focused too much on the harsh realities of this world. Blessed Child reconnects the reader with wonder, joy, true sorrow, repentance, and childlike glee.
If there were one complaint I would make about this story, it would be that I wished for more story. The story is broken up by days passed between episodes. Had the story been written as a series, more interepisodic stories could have been added. Obviously this was not the intent of the authors. However, I would have liked to get to know the characters a bit more, slowing down with them as humans a bit more, rather than pursuing them in the frantic pacing of chaotic and tragic events.
Having stated that, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a glimpse of our future home as Christians as well as anyone else who has wondered about the discrepancy between what God calls us to and what we as Christians deliver.