Format: Trade Paperback
Religion - Christian Life
When I was in college, I moved in with a lesbian. I needed a place to stay, and she was willing to open her extra room up to me. I bunked with her for an entire summer. Also, while in college and into my post college years, one of my best friends was a gay man. Throughout the last several years, I have interacted with and even prayed with people from the gay and lesbian community. What a privilege.
My heart runs deep for my friends and the gay and lesbian community at large.
Recently, I was given Out of a Far Country: A Gay Sonís Journey to God. A Broken Motherís Search for Hope to read and review. Because of my experience, exposure, and love for this community, I readily accepted the opportunity and in return was deeply affected by this book.
As can be deduced by the title, the book is about a gay manís journey to God, as well as a motherís lessons in relinquishing all control of both her life and her sonís to her loving Savior, Jesus Christ. The format of Out of a Far Country is straightforward, and the chapters are woven together to tell the entire story from both sides Ė the mother and sonís.
While reading this book, I found myself shocked by the details. The details werenít my experience with the gay and lesbian community. However, though at times graphic, I am aware that I needed to hear what Chris Yuan had to say. There is much to be learned about the gay and lesbian community. I needed to hear his experience. Even more than that, I needed to be reminded of the deceitfulness of my own heart regardless of my sexual orientation.
Five themes that I observed:
Roles within the family, particularly the husband and wifeís, needed to be clearly defined according to Godís standards. The Yuan family lacked leadership. The father was passive and often unavailable. Angela (the mother) expressed often her desire to have her husbandís support and voice speaking into Chrisís life. This didnít happen. Eventually, Mr. Yuan did step into his God given role, but we see clearly the consequences of his inability and lack of care for leading his family.
There was a sense of wanting to belong among all the members of this family.
To quote Angela from chapter three (page 19):
"All my life I wanted to belong. Belong to my parents. Belong to my husband. Belong to my children. But God was telling me that I didnít belong to anybody on earth. I belonged to him."
There was a pattern of seeking acceptance and approval from one another. They placed their hope in the response of another member of their family. This often led to quarrels among them because they felt misunderstood and uncared for. They felt judged and unappreciated. How often can you relate to this misplaced faith in another?
Sin unexposed and unaddressed only led to more sin. There were small allowances for sin, which led to more allowances. The consumption of just one drink, or just one pill led to another small allowance. In the end, the baby steps of the hell bound race ended in a jail sentence and hopelessness for Chris.
Prayer is invaluable.Angela was a faithful prayer warrior for not only Chris, but others in her family and circle of friends. Her example of prayer and faith spurred me on to pray faithfully for those who I believe will never come to know the Lord. I watched God work through her prayers for her son. Her son was without hope. He met every effort she made to care for him with greater and greater opposition. However, she was faithful and she trusted God in ways that I find myself not doing on a daily basis. I am encouraged by her example of prayer.
Love covers a multitude of sins (Proverbs 10:12; 1 Peter 4:8). Once Angela and her husband realized that they must trust fully in God, they chose to love their son unconditionally. To see their example of love reminded me of the love we receive from our Heavenly Father. They exemplified the free gift of grace that we receive. They loved and loved and loved. Their love covered a multitude of sins and won Chris to the Lord.
I would highly recommend Out of a Far Country: A Gay Sonís Journey to God. A Broken Motherís Search for Hope to everyone.
Your hearts will be illuminated. Your prayer life will be spurred. Your hearts will be filled with compassion. You will be refreshed with hope. You will be exposed to holy sexuality Ė the opposite of homosexuality is holiness not heterosexuality Ė which we all need regardless of our sexual orientation.
I donít understand why certain people have certain obstacles to face in life, but I do trust in a sovereign and loving God. His desire is not for a single person to perish (John 3:16, 1 Peter 3:8-10). That is why He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. For my sins of self-sufficiency, unbelief, self-righteousness, pride, and the list goes on, along with the sins of those in the lesbian and gay community. Their sin nailed Jesus to the Cross just as my sins did. Just as your sins did.
Christ left us with a Great Commission to go and make disciples of all the earth (Matthew 28:16-20). All the earth, my friends. Not just those we can easily relate to. Not just those who are straight, but all the earth. All the people must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ Ė the greatest news one will ever hear. How will our friends in the gay and lesbian community ever hear the truths of the Gospel if we harden our hearts against them? Thatís what this book exemplified Ė a heart of a mother softened toward the son whom she loved with gospel eyes.
As Christians, we should come alongside our friends in their sins and struggles in hopes that the Lord Jesus Christ would reveal Himself. We know the truth that when Christ takes a hold on our lives that the bondage of sin is broken! We are free from our sin. We are unable to turn from our sins on our own. We need Jesus.
We must be the bearers of good news. We must be open to share with the gay and lesbian community, and I submit that as saddened as we get with their sin, we would become even more so saddened with our own sin.
I pray these things in the powerful name of Jesus Christ in hopes that your mind and heart would be opened, and those who are struggling with the sin of sexual immorality in the form of gay, lesbian, or straight would be saved. I long to see more lives changed for the glory of God. Out of a Far Country helped fill me with hope that as a Christian community we can change Ė we can love others, regardless of his/her orientation, in the name of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General