Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rare Gem Found in a Kindle Wrap - Before the Flood by John Sherman - WWJD in Today's World?

Note: Pictures are selected based upon time period of novel...and for dramatic effect of today's world...and are not meant to be sacrilegious... Nor does it reflect the individuals that are actually selected to sit around this table in the book... This is representative of the Calvin Klein generation--those who choose to wear what is hot, as opposed to not...


They were communicators. All of them. In their own unique way, they could convey their thoughts to the masses. Some, like Vu and Daniel, were painters. Some were musicians. And some, like me, could write. Each one had a unique talent, a special way of connecting with others. Reading this, I finally began to see why Manuel chosen who he had. They were young and passionate and deeply committed to using their talents to spread the messages that Manuel crafted for them. He believed in them all, but in reading his journals, it was clear that he held one in higher regard than the rest...

With the exception of Vu and An, Manuel had saved them all from something— from fear, from shame, from anger, or in my case, from all three. I imagined they felt a sense of gratitude towards him or maybe an obligation. I could see that they all regarded him as holy, as something larger than themselves. A prophet from above sent to prepare them. A messiah sent with a message of warning. They had accepted this and the roles he had asked them to play. They had watched three of their brethren die. Sitting there, they looked ready to do the same. But I could tell that Manuel’s silence bothered them. They wanted instruction, some hint of what he expected them all to do. After they had finished eating, he gave it to them.

~~~

Before the Flood
By John Sherman

No matter what your background is, where you live, or whether you are religious or not, most people are fully aware that predictions about the end times have been around for as long as any of us have lived...and before that. Some call it the Apocalypse. The basic question is whether or not the world we live in will be destroyed, disappear... You may have read at least one or more books about it and certainly have gone through the period of those times when predictions have occurred, the last, I think, was 2012.

And, of course, we are still here... Still, there seems to be a need, a burning desire, even, to know what the future holds for humans... I've enjoyed a number of novels on the topic, but this one, I think, is my favorite so far...and, perhaps, the most realistic??? The setting in San Francisco, well, it seemed like right from today's news...is it?

When she opened the door, her eyes
confirmed what her ears had already discovered—
a small, brown baby boy lying on a green Army
jacket for a bed and wrapped in a Nirvana T-shirt
 for a sheet.
~~~
This book would be considered to be written based upon the Christian Bible. A main character is a journalist, an atheist who was known for routine articles questioning or sarcastic toward Christianity,  and also the son of an Episcopal Priest, so he was early versed in that book. But once he became involved in what happens, he took the time to study all of the world's religions and their "main characters."

Another main character is also a priest of the Episcopal Church, When they first met, she asked him to call her Beth...and then began to interview him, which he thought was quite funny since he was the journalist who was supposed to be doing the interview.

After they had determined that he would be involved, Beth began her story. Basically, any Christian reader will see an immediate parallel to the early life of Jesus. I'm not going to spend much time on that, except to say that, a baby boy was left at the door of Beth's church and when she had picked him up, three boys who looked like gang members said the baby was to be hers. Beth named him Manuel.

From the time he was brought to the first service, people from all races, the homeless and the rich, began to come...sitting by him first and moving outward...

San Francisco - Mission District: Episcopal Ch...
San Francisco - Mission District: Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist (Photo credit: wallyg)
The one in the camo pants stepped forward. Dog tags hung around his neck and shimmered as the early morning sun crept up the street. He stared at Beth holding the baby. Despite the hood, she could make out the dark “Is he yours?” she shouted to the boy. 
He took another step forward and continued to stare at her. The other two boys followed his lead. All three removed their hoods to reveal the same tattoo on the right side of their necks— the simple black outline of a cross, the sight of which made Beth shiver. She studied each of them as if trying to remember their faces for a future line-up. She thought they all looked feral— one white, two Hispanic, all thin, all dirty. Mud caked their faces. The white boy’s hair hung in matted dreads down the side of his face. One of the Latino kids, the one with the blue eyes, wore his hair shaved close to his skull. 
“Take care of him,” he said in heavily accented English. 
Beth stepped off the front porch and into the street. “This is your baby …” she repeated, no longer sure if she were making a statement or asking a question. 
“No madre,” the boy replied, “he’s yours.” He took another step forward, but the others pulled him back.
~~~

All of the miracles of Jesus: turning water into wine, healing...and more began before he was even 10. By that time, A man named Eli had met Manuel and explain to Beth that he had been waiting to meet him. All of those involved with the child had been dreaming of what was to come... Eli was much more capable of teaching Manuel, especially when they realized that he was begin to paint... Eli, also a painter, taught him everything and more... and it wasn't until he was killed that Manuel began to change... Manuel's choice of artistry had been using spray cans...and much of his work soon appeared on the walls in the mission area, but they soon became much darker, threatening of hell's fire, after Eli was killed.
Revelation Chapter 1


In the materialistic world of today where name brands such as Calvin Klein are "must-wear" for young people, together with the latest electronic equipment,  where gods of music and social media seem to rule, etc., it was to the poor--those diseased by drink and drugs or starving--who were those ministered by Manuel. It was when he wanted to minister directly on the street that it happened...
.
Suddenly, Manuel had The Man's--Arius, in this novel--attention... and his followers began to be killed, one by one...

There was only one issue that bothered me somewhat in this book and it is near the end.  But, the overall issue that came across was that Manuel was attacking a world that belonged to someone else. He had left his home and came to invade a world that was being handled quite well and totally responsive to Arius wishes. If you read it, I'll give you my opinion on this scene if requested.

I'm going to say this is almost a thriller, at least it comes across that way because of the later activities. Are you willing to see today's world welcome the end of the world???  Not an easy book to read if you believe in the second coming...

...if not, enjoy a well-written thriller with San Francisco's mission area as the setting...


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