Recently I have had the pleasure of being a part of a round table discussion put together by Amy at My Friend Amy’s Blog. The book we discussed was Wounded by Claudia Mair Burney.
Poor in health but rich in faith, Gina Merritt—a young, broke, African-American single mother—sits in a pew on Ash Wednesday and has a holy vision. When it fades, her palms are bleeding. Anthony Priest, the junkie sitting beside her, instinctively touches her when she cries out, but Gina flees in shock and pain. A prize-winning journalist before drugs destroyed his career, Anthony is flooded with a sense of well-being and knows he is cured of his addiction. Without understanding why, Anthony follows Gina home to find some answers. Together they search for an answer to this miraculous event and along the way they cross paths with a skeptical evangelical pastor, a gentle Catholic priest, a certifiable religious zealot, and an oversized transvestite drug dealer, all of whom lend their opinion. It’s a quest for truth, sanity, and grace . and an unexpected love story.
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Sheila: On the back cover of the book the question is: If a miracle happened to you, wouldn’t you tell everyone? What if they thought you were crazy?
That is a great question. First of all I have to admit – would I recognize it as a miracle myself? Honestly I think I would have to have a real faith check and probably a lot like Gina did at times, question my own sanity. As far as sharing this miracle with people, I think much like many of the cases I read about on-line, probably very few.
I would love to hear everyone elses responses to those questions.
Julie: I, too, loved those questions on the back of the book. It’s hard for me to say exactly what I’d do, but I don’t think I’d be out there telling everyone. I feel that it’s a pretty personal matter between me and God, although I would want my family to share it with me too. I would definitely pray on it (a lot) to understand the “Why Me?” and I’d have to think that God had some way that he wanted to use me to help others. I think I’d be terrified that I wouldn’t be able to figure out those questions.
Sheila: You also made me really think when you mentioned that if you had lived in Biblical Times would you (or I) have recognized him for who he was. Not to get off subject but I have to mention another book called More Than A Skeleton by Paul Maier. I loved this book (there are actually two books) and in this book it is modern day and a man who has twelve disciples, was born in Bethlehem, parents are names Mary and Joseph and has a birth certificate saying his name is Jesus Christ. He also seems to be performing miracles left and right. The book is about trying to prove this man is not Jesus when everything seems to say he is. In that case and in this one – is seeing believing?
Hannah: I think we can’t really know or say whether we’d be able to accept such miracles if they happened to us or around us until they have. That doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile question to ask, just that we can’t ultimately know how we’d react until we’ve reacted.
Thomas: After I had finished the book for the first time, the next time I was at church, it caused me not to pay attention to my pastor’s sermon, but instead I spent it wondering what would happen if someone at my church began to show signs on stigmata. For some reason I feel there would be more Mike’s then there would be Priest.
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This book was one I really enjoyed and it left me with a lot of things to think about. I found the round table discussion bring up even more food for thought. I read this when we went to Illinois a couple weekends ago and I was taking notes on a napkin – thoroughly engrossed in the storyline and knowing there were a few points I wanted to look into further. This book would make a wonderful book club read as there is much to discuss.
Stop by the following blogs to read their part of the round table discussion.
Ignorant Historian — The theology presented in the book
Books and Movies — Jesus as Bridegroom
Booking Mama — Suffering
Debbie — Mental Illness and the church
Book Addiction — The Characters of Wounded
My Random Thoughts — Wounded as a Love Story (and a few other random things)
Wordlily — Stigmata
Books, Movies, Chinese food— The use of “the n word”