Pastor and teacher Gasiorowski ponders the path to spiritual forgiveness after a tragedy in this short, debut religious tract.
The author had been married to his wife, Anna, for 16 years when she died in an automobile accident in Poland in 2003. Afterward, he couldn’t remember the events of that day, due to his own injuries, which only added to his emotional pain and spiritual confusion. He had to raise their two children, Joanne and Lucas, by himself while also crippled by grief. Even before the accident, the family had already struggled through the loss of twin babies, and the author dealt with a severe hepatitis-C infection, thyroid cancer, and surgery. His religious belief was severely tested, and he railed against God: “please leave me and my family alone!...No, I shall never forgive You this.” This crisis of faith led him to author this short tract, which charts his personal struggle to forgive God through his own version of the classic Kübler-Ross model of the seven stages of grief. For the author, the crisis largely manifested as a phase of running away from God, during which he also confronted the psychological sources of his pain. The process took years, and although his pain was not obviated, he reconciled with his faith to a point of spiritual peace. Throughout the text, Gasiorowski supplements his own observations with biblical homilies and examples. Along the way, the author offers some insight into the grieving process and, specifically, the Bible’s exhortations relating to it. Although the narrative gets off to a rocky start by confusingly switching perspectives between the author and his children, it eventually falls into a more predictable pattern. It’s not as polished in style and scholarship as similar writings by C.S. Lewis, for example, but there will surely be value in the work to readers who have a deeply spiritual or Christian viewpoint. The shorter length definitely lends itself to book- or study-group use, and it may spark lively discussion. An introduction by the Rev. Dr. Carson Pue, who also lost his wife, begins the book.
A useful Christian work for readers seeking spiritual growth and self-help.