When Frank sent me a copy of his latest book, I was keen to read it because I knew it looked at the lives of Mary and Martha and their brother, Lazarus.
God’s favorite place when he lived on earth was their home in Bethany, the place where Jesus was accepted unconditionally and where he returned, time and time again. Part fiction (the moving story of Jesus in Bethany is narrated by Lazarus) and part insightful theology, Frank uses the story to help people facing many kinds of challenges–doubt, discouragement, fear, materialism. He demonstrates in a practical way how to deal with offense, both by God–when he doesn’t meet our expectations or doesn’t show up on time–or from others who may hurt or reject us. He challenges us to live a life free from offense.
I’ve studied the Gospels on many occasions, but certain things became clearer to me as I read this book. I saw details that had escaped me before. Example: I’d never noticed that Jesus’ ascension occurred in Bethany. The conversation between Jesus and Martha about his resurrection took on fresh power.
Frank writes powerfully and poetically. He challenges us, both as individuals and corporately, to love and follow Jesus wholeheartedly and to be a place where Jesus “feels at home.”