Monday, February 11, 2013

N. T. McQueen's Televangelism Drama Intriguing, Revealing...
The characteristics of the lion and the lamb form a vivid contrast of expectations when used metaphorically. While the lion is known for its strength and ferocity, the lamb is regarded as a gentle and dependent creature. Nevertheless, both are at times associated with the person and work of God
Between Lions and

By N. T. McQueen

They had met the day that a stranger drove by Ezekiel and then stopped and offered him a ride. Ezekiel saw the young boy sitting in the truck along with a smiling man. He decided to take the ride, but soon was asking the younger boy about whether he was not cold. Immediately the man spoke for him, claiming he didn't talk much... Ezekiel began to worry something was wrong and soon asked to be dropped off on the corner. But the man didn't stop, just kept on driving until they were in the woods...

The man told Ezekiel that they were going into the cabin and he was going to do something for him...Ezekiel fought and then pulled the gold cross from his pocket and placed it between his fingers as a weapon. He scratched his face, then pulled his eyeball right out of the socket... Then the younger boy slammed his head with a shovel from the back...

The boy's name was Gerald and he followed Ezekiel as they left, leaving the scene, never knowing whether the man was dead or not...

"A great applause propelled toward the stage, the
clapping hands bringing a visual life to the great
sea before his eyes. He claps as he walks to the
decadent podium with the gold crucifix...He placed
his skinny hands at either side of the stand; his worn
leather Bible displayed before him...
"They're in place on the bottom floor. Two guys and
an old woman," he says into the preacher's ear. "You
give the signal and they'll be ready and then say the
diseases and they'll come up at the right time. Just
like we've been practicing. We paid them pretty good
so they shouldn't be like the last ones."
"I sure as hell hope not," the pastor threatened
jokingly, patting the man on his broad shoulder.
He smiled that bright smile with the wide black
gap. The man's eyes were heavy and he could smell
the faint, familiar odor before he exited to the
side of the stage..."

Ezekiel had left home directly from his brother's funeral. Earlier his father had, somewhat unwillingly(?) turned over his Bible to Ezekiel, on his birthday. Ezekiel didn't know why, his father had never loved any of them, or if he did, he had never shown it, especially when he drank...

Even if he was a preacher...

Now, years later, Ezekiel was one of the top evangelists in the country, known for his powerful words...and his healings...

Gerald was still there with him, at his side, following...

They had started out moving from town to town and Ezekiel would start sharing...and then he started preaching, using his father's Bible that he'd taken with him... That and the cross that had been Jeremiah's, that he'd found in the river he'd visited before he left... Jeremiah had told him that someday he's give it to him, but it was never supposed to be because he was...dead...

Gerald had become a Christian along the way and was a special soft-spoken gentleman who would quietly share Christ with those who he met...

Most of his working time, though, was handling all the details of the huge services for the crowds that now came to hear Ezekiel...

But as the years went by, Gerald began to feel like Ezekiel's janitor--always cleaning up behind him.

Readers will move from the present preparation for the service back through the years until finally we learn exactly what has driven Ezekiel all of his life. And when confronted with it...

I remember a television evangelist who used healing as the main thrust of his services...and I also remember how members of my family would parrot his words, "Be healed" acting "stupid" because his pressure would be such that we could see him pushing the individual to fall backwards.

Some of you may remember him as well. Some believed in him; my family did not.

 Brian Friel's Faith Healer starring Ralph Fiennes
Hello, son. Can you hear me?
"The man stood reticent, dazzled by the brilliance
of the spotlights and the millions of eyes watching

 his every move.
"Can you hear me?"
The young man shook his head.
"How did ya know to come up here son?"
The man pointed to his lips.
The pastor leaned in close to the man' s ear

 away from the
crowd and whispered, 

"When I scream 'be healed,' 
take a fall.
The boys will catch ya..."


But still, there is a question brought forward by this novel. Can the listener believe and have their faith heightened by a false prophet?

Gerald had once had Ezekiel save his life from a world of pain and sorrow. Gerald had followed Ezekiel from then on. But, at some point, the one that he followed changed...

The explosive finish will leave some readers asking questions. But I had only one. How did I feel about
the actions of those who were there that night during the service... Let me know what you thought!

McQueen's novel is an excellent examination of the power, the faithful followers, and the reality of one 
individual who acts on behalf of God. Is he a false prophet? Or a sinner just like the rest of us... Can we
judge him or must we allow God to have that responsibility?

If you have been disheartened by religion, and television evangelists in particular, I think this book will provide much for you to consider. But if you have questions. seek your answer directly from the top...
There are indeed false prophets...

Highly Recommended... This was a must-read for me...maybe for you as well...

Book Provided With Request
for Review

About the Author:

N.T. McQueen was born in Ukiah, California and raised in a family of ministers. He began writing short stories on his breaks while working as a staff member for the university system. He graduated from CSU-Sacramento with a bachelor's degree in American Literature and is pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing. He is the recipient of a 2012 Bazzanella Literary Award. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two children. Between Lions and Lambs is his first novel.

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