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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Beth Green’s A Rose for Jonathan is an enlightening story revealing the power of prayer and scriptural declaration. Standing guard on a hill above the city are three angels ... a sword pierces the ground, the earth shakes, yet no one notices except for one small two-year-old child. Suddenly, a car crash occurs, traumatically impacting the lives of all those involved. The watching angels flee to their charges. As a result of this accident, a ripple effect unseen by human eyes begins in the atmosphere. A divine plan begins to unfold. The gift within little Rose Louise traverses time and transforms lives. Her donation of life gifts the lives of three others and releases a light, a shimmering glow, into a darkened community. Thirty-five years later, one man’s eyes are opened to the truth. Tension has been building; the spiritual battle has been raging. Standing in front of his congregation, Pastor John Miles prepares to share the incredible story of Rose Louise. Is it a story of mere irony, or is it divine destiny? Will his congregation embrace and believe, or will they shun him, considering him a fool. Looking at his audience, he begins to share the events that transpired to bring him to this moment of time. “I stand before you because of a gift...”
The quote by Alexander Pope, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” whispered in my head as I read A Rose for Jonathan. Contrarily, Beth Green depicts the angelic realm with boundless and fervent bravery, ever watching over their assigned humans, and graciously heeding the voice of the Father. In this compassionate story, the angels fear nothing; instead, they dare the angels of darkness to tread lightly. Beth Green does a wonderful job at portraying the despair and heartache of losing a child. She reveals the truth that everyone grieves differently; pain is very real and individualized. Moreover, Green uses her experience as a pediatric physical therapist to give insight into the organ donation process. Too often, we forget that someone has to die in order for someone else to live through organ transplant. This story delicately yet decisively weaves together the concept that there is a constant battle for the souls of humankind. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice; He died that we might live. A Rose for Jonathan's resounding message is that we as believers are overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.