Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Jesus”

A Balm for Katniss

The Hunger Games (film)

The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much I relish the Hunger Games series being brought to the big screen, there is one aspect of the story that continues to hamper my true enjoyment the progression of the series: the bleak monotony of despair.
Throughout the books, and in the film, all the main characters live in the clutches of fear. Fear of starvation, punishment, pain, and death all permeate the plot and are the motivators for the characters.
Something is needed to relieve the continual roller-coaster of despair and it isn’t going to come sailing down in a little tinkling parachute.
Prim hits on what’s needed at one point in the plot when she answers Katniss’s inquiry of what’s different now (Catching Fire) than before (Hunger Games): “Hope.”
And this is true–without hope there is despair.
Suzanne Collins creates an atmosphere of despair by utilizing Roman rule elements when she created the setting of the Hunger Games. It’s the plebeians versus the patricians complete with coliseum games as an opiate for the masses. One aspect which is not included in the Hunger Games is that many of the coliseum participants were Christians imprisoned by Roman rule. The emperors were threatened by this new religion because a new King threatened their rule: Jesus of Nazareth. He gave the people hope, something Roman rulers could not.

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While hope is offered in the latest installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, there is a missing component which is so vital to completing hope’s salve to the wounds of despair: faith.
There is no religion, no deity, no promise of afterlife in the series, which is why despair and oppression permeate the mood of the story.
If possible, I would send Katniss a balm of hope in order to instill the need of faith that there is a better Way. Psalm 27 seems to be one parachute I could send.

Anyone out there have their own balm of hope they might send?

BookSneezing: Jesus, My Father, the Cia, and Me

When my review journal closed up shop I suddenly felt like Linus when Lucy grabs his blanket away: “Aauugh–I need my review books!” Fortunately more and more publishers are realizing the value of promoting authors through review opportunities. This is where BookSneeze comes in. Odd name, but it got my attention. Like most review platforms, a person fills out the application, gets accepted, selects a book, reviews it, and then posts it. Oh, and the disclaimer statement:


I received these books for free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

My first BookSneeze selection is:

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me
You have to admit the title is catchy. It’s also a bit misleading. This isn’t a memoir about how a hardened CIA agent finds Jesus, or is even about the radical transformation of a born-again spy, instead it is a fascinating account of how the author coped with having a father who happened to be a CIA agent. Jesus provided the glue that kept the author from flying apart during his dysfunctional childhood, although the author didn’t realize it until he was an adult.
Writing with candor, Ian Cron provides a glimpse into that secret life of being a spy kid, although Cron didn’t find out about his father being a CIA agent until his mother pulled him aside when he was a sophomore in high school. Unfilled question blanks about his father began to get answered, but it didn’t necessarily help the bonding process. The biggest problem in the author’s life was not having a CIA agent for a father; it was having an alcoholic for a father.
Sometimes we go on a search for something and do not know what we are looking for until we come again to our beginning. –Robert Lax
This quote at the beginning of the book provides the nucleus, for the author was on a quest for his father’s approval throughout his life; however, this quest also became a search for who he was as a person.  This is a truly mesmerizing chronicle of the author’s journey of trying to understand his father so that he may understand himself. Throughout the havoc of growing up with an alcoholic parent we also see how a mother’s love provided an anchor, how friends provided support and diversion, and how mentors provided counsel until healing, forgiveness, and acceptance finally occurred.The author has a talent for weaving in levity while relating the pain of his circumstance. The only downside is that sometimes there were continuity lags as the author switched from the present to flashbacks. Overall, the book is well-written and a recommendation for those interested in overcoming difficult childhoods or for those who are curious about what it might be like to be a real “spy kid.” While this is non-fiction, I can’t help but think it would be an intriguing novel. And yet, if it were a novel, some would no doubt find it a little difficult to believe. However, as they say: the best stories are always the true ones.

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