Monday, September 11, 2017

Convicted - A Review

A Review

There are three kinds of books about grace:

The first are those that examine the topic Biblically or Theologically. My favorite book in this category, because it had a major impact on my life shortly after it was released, was Chuck Swindoll’s The Grace Awakening. The problem with these books is that the reader is left wondering, “Is this the way it really happens?”

The second kind of book that can teach us about grace are those fictional titles that weave grace into the story of the characters. A recently reviewed book that picks up this themes is Candace Calvert’s Maybe Its You.  But the reader is easily reminded that, “Yeah, this is fiction.”

The third category are those books which illustrate God’s grace lived out in the lives of real people with real problems dealing with real life on the streets where they live. Convicted is just that.

Jameel McGee is a young black man found at the wrong place at the wrong time. He is arrested by Andrew Collins is a police officer on the fast track - that knows what is best for his community and will do anything (even if it is dirty) to clean up the community.

The truth comes out as it is discovered that Andrew is stashing drugs in his locker to use against criminals for whom the cases were not quite as obvious as he wanted. Jameel would go to a state prison in Michigan for a crime he did not commit; Andrew would go to a federal prison for defrauding the justice system with false evidence.

Both Jameel and Andrew would need to learn of God’s grace - toward themselves and toward others (including each other). It was not easy for Jameel to let go of the anger he felt for Andrews lies and behaviors that left him serving four years of a ten-year sentence. It was a lesson he would need to relearn multiple times in the years ahead.  It was not easy for Andrew to learn that God could allow someone to forgive him for the damage done. It was a lesson he would need to hear multiple times in the years ahead. But they did learn about grace - and this is their story.

The story is told completely in the first person, flowing back and forth between Jameel’s and Andrew’s voice. We are presented with the emotions that each experienced as they moved through their story. We also see the hand of God working in their lives - they could not always see it in real time, but only became aware of it as it unfurled in the days, months, and years, ahead of them.

In these 200+ pages, we see how God’s grace can change the lives of two men that, at one time or another, wanted to destroy the lives of the other. We see the lives of two men who learned to work together and to love each other.
This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.

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