At the beginning of the book, Philip Yancey shares a personal experience. He almost lost his life in an accident. Along with this incident and ten other devastating events around the world I ended up asking myself not why did the shootings happen at Virginia Tech or why women are trafficked for sex and drugs. I surprised myself by asking why not. The author is incredibly, heroic. Philip Yancey keeps his faith in God after seeing far more than I will ever understand sitting in front of my television. I remember reading in the book about the inability for the television news watcher to conceive or grasp the amount of horror in an event unless you are really there in front of it. Did I grasp the events of Virginia Tech? In a small way I did, but not like the people who knew the shooter, not like the students and professors on the campus who had taught the victims, not like friends and parents or journalists, not like the people who walked up and tied a ribbon somewhere on campus or bought flowers in remembrance to put at the memorial. "As I wandered through the tent I realized what the news media do to our perceptions. I had thought of the thirty-three who died as a group.....Walking past the individual memorials, I encountered Ryan and Emily and Juan and Waleed and Julia--thirty-three individuals, not a group."
This book is about a microscope beam shed on people who die of HIV/AIDS everyday, the people who live in horrible prisons like Pollsmore Prison. This is the prison in which Nelson Mandela resided for twenty-sevem years. How did he not lose his mind? By grace he lived each day, month, year. At the end of the book I discovered why Philip Yancey chooses to visit places like Mumbai, India. "I go in search of a faith that matters."
Does Philip Yancey find that faith? Yes, in Paul Brand, CS Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Desmond TuTu and ordinary people with names we will never know who act the part of saints. Their daily walk is to keep hope alive for those who are in a storm that often seems to have no end.