When I was in high school/college/seminary I did a lot of reading and movie watching. I liked being cultured and enjoyed getting wrapped up in both fiction and non-fiction stories. I had my own special rating system: the number of Kleenex used during the book or movie up to five would lead to my rating. So, if I blew (literally) through 5 or more tissues I’d give a 5-Kleenex rating. If I only blew through one tissue, it would receive a one-Kleenex rating, which is a very low rating. The 5-Kleenex rating was good measure because it meant the book or movie touched my soul.
The past few years I have put my rating system to the wayside because I was coming up with only 0 and 1-Kleenex ratings. Maybe it was because the mugs taking over my cupboards said “adulting is hard” and “today I need a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus”. Life had hit me full-blown as I discovered there is a lot of suffering in this world, not just my neighbor’s suffering, but my own as well. Many movies and many books truly encompass that suffering, and yes, they get it and pull at my heartstrings, but they only provide temporal remedies to that suffering whether it be justice in the courts, talented doctors fixing that cancer, false preachers giving the law, “pray more and you will be healed”.
All this is good and well, but there is no eternal comfort in the temporal solutions until this fiction series by Katie Schuermann came out. For once Christian Fiction has got it right! This series brought out a lot of pain and suffering that we see: loss, sickness, gossip, abuse, addiction, temptation, you name it, it is in there. But throughout all these books, along with the Lutheran humor we have come to know and love, Schuermann points to Christ and his overwhelming forgiveness, compassion, and mercy through the cross. Sadly, and oddly I have found next to none of Christ any other place in the fiction realm. I recommend these books not only to all my Lutheran brothers and sisters, but also to my other brothers and sisters in Christ and even to my friends who don’t believe, because it is only through Christ where this eternal comfort can be found.
I want to throw a shout-out to the author, Katie Schuermann. Thank you! Thank you for the return of my Kleenex ratings. I can officially say that all three books of your trilogy receive 5-Kleenex ratings!
*Picture comes from cph.org where you can buy all three books.