About 150 years ago George MacDonald wrote a children's book called The Princess and the Goblin.
Irene, the protagonist, is eight years old. She has found an attic room in her house, and every so often her fairly grandmother appears there. When Irene goes to look for her she's often not there, so one day her fairy grandmother gives her a ring with a thread tied to it, leading to a little ball of thread. She explains that she'll keep the ball.
"But I can't see it," say Irene.
"No. The thread is too fine for you t see it. You can only feel it." With this assurance, Irene test the thread.
"Now listen," says the grandmother, "if you ever find yourself in any danger . . . you must take off your ring and put it under the pillow of your bed. Then you must take your forefinger . . . under the thread, and follow the thread wherever it leads you."
"Oh, how delightful! It will lead me to you, Grandmother, I know!"
"Yes," said the grandmother, "but, remember, it may seem to you a very roundabout way indeed, and you must not doubt the thread. Of this you can be sure, that while you hold it, I hold it too. . . .
Irene will definitely have adventures related to this thread and her need to trust this invisible thread no matter where it takes her. I was, and I believe you will be delighted by where the story goes from here. You'll find the story delicately weaved into a much larger work that I believe is an instant classic by Timothy Keller. "King's Cross" is one of only a few books that I've read twice, and I read it twice back-to-back.
I can sincerely say of this book that it turned my life around, at least in the short term. You can tell from reading other parts of this blog that I have had a rough five or so years. As rough as it was, some might consider it to be fantastic compared to their trials. But, whatever a Christian is going through, Keller puts the idea of it all being for good in an entirely new and penetrating light. It was in that light that I overcame my confusion and frustration with the Father, and moved out of my spiritual funk.
The book is a study of the the Gospel of Mark. The insights into Mark would be enough to rate "King's Cross" as formidable and a valuable read. But there is so much more. Keller grabs you by the heart and never lets go for a minute. You don't need to be in a valley for this book to have impact. It should be an inspiration even if you feel you are on the mountain top.
I'd love to hear from others who've read it, and to hear from you later if you do read it based on this review. I've even considered the idea of starting an online discussion group using Google Hangout just around this book.
Other book reviews are coming on "Crazy Love," "Cross Roads," "Countdown," and "The Utter Relief of Holiness." Be sure to subscribe to this blog if you'd like to hear when those reviews are posted.
King's cross was a big influence on my new book, God Called - He Needs Your Decision! which is now available on Amazon and getting some very humbling reviews. Please give it a look and maybe even tell a friend about it.