I admit I’m a slow reader. Mostly because I wait until bedtime to crack open the latest book I’m reading. I usually don’t get far before my head is nodding and my husband nudges me and asks, “Are you asleep?”

When I read A Place Called Blessing, by Dr. John Trent (co-author with Gary Smalley of The Blessing), I not only stayed awake, I kept turning pages. The story is compelling. A young boy, Josh, experiences a series of tragic events in his life. His parents (who haven’t done a great job taking care of their children) are killed in a drunk-driving accident. Josh and his two older brothers are thrust into the foster care system. As long as they’re together, even the least desirable of homes is bearable. The unthinkable happens, though, and Josh is separated from his brothers. They are adopted by a family who chooses not to adopt Josh. His life is marked by rejection and abandonment.

By age eighteen, Josh is an angry young man who only wants to be left alone. He’s determined not to ever need or trust  anyone. He vows to make it through life on his own. That is, until he meets a co-worker, Mike, who genuinely seems to care about Josh. Mike’s mom, Anna, has a room for rent, and Josh agrees to move in. Anna and Mike offer Josh the gift of “the blessing”–their unconditional love and support. And that is  life-changing.  

As I read Dr. Trent’s book, I kept wondering when the hurting would stop. I felt sad by the unfairness of life.What struck me, though, was realizing how even one person who “blesses” another’s life, can make a huge impact. Josh’s relationship with Anna and Mike gave him the opportunity to choose a healthier direction for his life. 

A Place Called Blessing inspires readers to consider how they can make a difference for others. Giving the gift of “the blessing” is truly where hurting ends and love begins.