Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: Was Jones An Angel?

The Noticer
By Andy Andrews
Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978159555218I
167 Pages


Andy Andrews has told us part of his own story in The Noticer which is available today, April 27 and I, along with other Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers are sharing our reviews simultaneously! Cool, right?!!

Before I went back to reread the email regarding the book, I was going to say that the main character, Jones, was an angel. Perhaps he was, for he certainly spoke as if he were an angel. He seemed to appear and disappear, exactly when people needed him. And then there was the fact that different people called him by different names, including Garcia by Hispanic people and Chen by the Chinese. Others weren’t sure whether he was black or white—but it really didn’t seem to matter. So, was the old man who came to see Andy Andrews, when he was homeless, living under a pier, an angel? I like to think so, but it really isn’t important. What we do know was that he was sent by, and used by, God, to make a difference in many lives.

Jones watched people, and came to know them, know their names, their needs. He said, “I am a noticer...I notice things that other people overlook. And you know, most of them are in plain sight.” (p. 6) So when he found the young man, crying, he extended his hand and invited him out, “into the light.”

After they had shared and become more acquainted, Jones opened an old tattered suitcase and he produced three books, about great people. And then, soon, he came back with three more books. This was repeated again and again, while the young man read of the lives and sometimes despair of others, and began to look at his own life...from a different perspective.

At the same time, Jones visited other people there in the small town: the one who was considering suicide or the old lady in her 70’s who felt her life was over and she was just waiting to die. And then there was the man who ran his business with no concern for quality, ethics, his customers or even his employees. One after the other, Jones was there to talk about what he noticed about their lives and help them see them from a different perspective.

And, then, many years later, Jones was gone! All they found was the old suitcase that he had carried continuously, sitting in the road . . .

Many are saying this is the best book they have read in their lives. The Noticer can be picked up by anyone and, more than likely, will find that one or more of the life stories will speak to them in a personal way. I know I did. In many ways, the now-common question, “What Would Jesus Do?” is answered when Jones arrives, although The Noticer itself is not really written as a Christian self-help book; it will speak to anybody that just needs a “little perspective” to look closely in the mirror without guilt, regret or judgment.

Only you, having read my review, will know...is The Noticer by Andy Andrews a must-read for YOU?

G. A. Bixler