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Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability and the Lessons of Grace Paperback – September 7, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Witty...stunning...striking...humorous and heartfelt. A fresh, honest look at one father's struggle to embrace God in the midst of his son's disability. Can sheer laughter and weeping gracefully coexist? Greg knows all about it. I highly recommend this wonderfully personal book!"
- Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni & Friends

"C.S. Lewis wrote that he paradoxically loved The Lord of the Rings because it 'broke his heart'--and Greg Lucas' writing does the same for me. I heartily commend this book--especially for dads...many of us need to taste afresh the goodness of God and the grace of the gospel."
- Justin Taylor, Managing Editor, ESV Study Bible


"This is not primarily a book for parents of special needs children....Jake's father, Greg, is a captivating storyteller. When he writes about life with Jake, I recognize God's grace and loving persistence in my life. I want more!
"
- Noël Piper, author, and wife of pastor and author John Piper


"Witty stunning striking humorous and heartfelt.

I highly recommend this wonderfully personal book!"

Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends -- Joni Eareckson Tada "CruciformPress.com"

From the Inside Flap

"It sounded at first like something out of an old horror movie. I thought maybe someone was just playing around, but then I heard it again and again, a loud piercing cry, and less like Hollywood every time. The windows were down in my police cruiser on that warm fall day, but I still couldn't tell where the sounds came from. I began looking around for the unlikely sight of someone being disemboweled in a mall parking lot on a Saturday afternoon. Seeing nothing, and still hearing the screams, I called in a 'disturbance.' Around the next corner I found the source of the commotion."

So begins Greg Lucas' captivating account of life as a husband, a police officer, and Jake's dad. Jake Lucas, the first of four children, lives with severe physical and mental challenges. Caring for him each day is an ordeal few of us can imagine, and this story of Jake's first 17 years is not one you will soon forget. But the remarkable thing is how the whole narrative is saturated with wonder at the grace and goodness of God, who brings hope and promise through his Son into the darkest of circumstances.

In this book, we see that Jake's problems are our problems, only bigger, and the challenges of caring for him carry profound lessons about God's care for us. Wrestling with an Angel is about tragedy and laughter and pain and joy. It is about faith and grace and endurance and God's unfailing, loving wisdom daily being worked out in each of our lives, whatever the nature or extent of our difficulties. Here is a book that may explain faith to you in ways you never quite grasped, through a life few of us can relate to. When it is all done, we come away better able to live as Christ calls us to live.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Cruciform Press (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453818774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453818770
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Dan Byrd on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his book, Greg Lucas turns the diamond of Grace in such a way that you see facets you never really noticed before. Whether or not you are doing life with someone struggling with a disability, you will be encouraged and challenged by this book. Please do not pass up the opportunity to read this book simply because "disability" doesn't apply to you. If you believe in God, this book is for you. If you don't believe in God, then go read the Bible....and then buy this book. Lucas is a superb, gospel-drenched story-teller. I'm ready for another book by Greg Lucas.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Greg Lucas' book is outstanding in several ways. Foremost, it speaks truth. Greg offers sound, biblical observations that don't hurt people by matching a challenging life with theological compromise (that is, lying to himself and others). This is a brave and humble thing he does.

The book is also alternately hilarious and heartbreaking --which I love in fiction and in non-fiction alike. Wrestling With An Angel actually sometimes feels like fiction, which tells me it is more honest than most so-called "true stories." It is brilliantly, yet simply, told. A fine, short work of deep truth, honest orthodoxy. A compelling collection of true tales.

A warning. Be careful. This book will awaken your heart to the beautiful pain of adoption, the eucatastrophic revelation of the heart of God toward sinners. Not sentimental in the avenue of a Nicholas Sparks yarn, but heartbreakingly lovely to the core. Sobbing will happen.

I recommend it without reservation.
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Format: Paperback
When I was asked to read this book, I was not expecting what happened next. Wrestling with an Angel by Greg Lucas is the best book I've read over the last year. I am pleased to have read the book and know I will continue to reference it. The author, Greg Lucas, writes the book almost as if he were writing and copying straight out of his journal, describing what God has taught him through his disabled son. Not only is it easy to read, but I could not put the book down and finished it in one sitting. Wrestling with an Angel opened my eyes to my own need of the gospel and my heavenly Father. It is a book I will highly recommend to anyone.

Wrestling with an Angel bears the subtitle A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lessons of Grace. The story traces Lucas' personal story in regards to his son Jake--how he came into their family, lived with their family, transformed their family, and led Lucas and his wife closer to the throne of grace and a deeper understanding of our Heavenly Father. Jake is Lucas' adopted son who has sever mental disabilities. This book does a marvelous job at tracing how God used--and likely continues to use--this father-son relationship to teach Lucas about his own desperate need for Jesus and his grace.

This passage sums up the whole book for me:

I hear religious-minded people say all the time with good intentions, "God will never place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot carry it."
Really?
My experience is that God will place a burden on you so heavy that you cannot possibly carry it alone. He will break your back and your will. He will buckle your legs until you fall flat beneath the crushing weight of your load. All the while He will walk beside you waiting for you to come to the point where you must depend on Him.
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Format: Paperback
“Gut-wrenching grace.” That was my three-word-reaction to reading "Wrestling with an Angel" by Greg Lucas. This book is drenched in grace but was forged in suffering.

"Wrestling with an Angel" is a practical-theological reflection on lessons one dad has learned through fathering a severely disabled son.

Easy and Hard to Read

It is both easy and hard to read. It’s easy to read because it is fast-paced and filled to the brim with vivid stories. The chapters are short, tersely written, and come right out of the experiences of the author, a down-to-earth police officer. It’s easy to relate to Lucas and his family.

And that’s the hard part–because Lucas’s family has dealt with severe suffering as they’ve seen Greg’s son Jacob grow from a tiny toddler enduring unexplained seizures to a difficult-to-manage young man. And it doesn’t necessarily grow any easier.

It is hard to read because it is so real. I kept thinking, “This is what it is like.” Blood, guts, and feces all make an appropriate but dismally authentic appearance in the course of the story.

I found myself sobbing as I read it. Now, I’m a “softie,” but I don’t normally cry when just reading a book. This book is evocative while not being at all sentimental. Lucas also finds humor in unlikely places. I didn’t just cry–I laughed and nodded through my tears.

A Story of Grace

"Wrestling with an Angel" is not simply an emotion-generating story. It’s a story that teaches truth as it unfolds. The subtitle is "A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lessons of Grace."

Lucas develops ten grace-lessons as he tells his story.
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