*Warning: There are SPOILERS in this post*
It seems like most of the other tourists who have posted so far agree that this is a funny book. Lots of laughing out loud. Lots of “Are you crazy?” looks from family members. Yes, I definitely laughed while I read this book. But I also cried.
You eventually find out that the root of Matt’s Imaginary Jesus problem is the pain of an unanswered prayer. Matt and his wife lost a baby to miscarriage, and he didn’t understand how Jesus could let that happen. This struck me on a very personal level, because my husband and I have also experienced the loss of a miscarriage.
While it’s not something I necessarily kept a secret, I never really talked about it much. It was our first pregnancy and it was the last thing I expected to happen. As I read Matt’s story I remembered feeling many of the same things that he described. A shred of hope, because Jesus can do anything. Saying the words, “I don’t want this to be happening.” Then feeling abandoned because our prayers weren’t answered.
I had a lot of difficulty praying for a long time after, because I didn’t see the point. I had prayed for plenty of silly things during my lifetime, trivial things, but this was one time when it really mattered. And God didn’t answer my prayer. As Matt said, “I know he has power. If he were helpless, I wouldn’t feel betrayed by him.” That perfectly describes how I felt at the time.
Eventually I found healing, especially when Veronica was born. Which is why I love the ending of the book so much! And even though I still don’t understand why God allowed our miscarriage, I trust in his wisdom and ultimate love. It didn’t happen overnight, but I’ve recovered my belief in the power of prayer. It reminds me of a plaque that one of my friends has in her bathroom: “God always answers prayers. Sometimes the answer is no.” Which makes a lot more sense than the idea that he doesn’t answer prayers at all. As a parent I also have to say no even if my toddler doesn’t understand why, and God is our Father after all. Isn’t that a comforting thought?
More stops on the tour:
R. L. Copple
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Rachel Starr Thomson