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Review: Seeing Through The Fog by Ed Dobson

Publisher: David C. Cook, October 1, 2012.
Genre: Non-fiction, ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, hope.
Format: pdf/read on Kindle.
Pages: 176.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent.
Source: Free copy from David C. Cook. They have a program where they send  emails-free ebook or discount choices.

Book is available @ Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Lifeway, Mardel.  

Recently there has been the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in pouring a bucket of ice water over a person and then challenging other people to do the same. The challenge is to educate the public about the ALS disease, and to donate money to the ALS Association.
I've been told my maternal grandfather had a disease similar to ALS. Maybe he did have this disease and my grandmother was not aware of its name. She was the primary caregiver. I was a small girl when Papaw became sick. I was 12 when he died. I have no memory of having a conversation with Papaw. He had been a hardworking person all of his life, taking on several jobs at one time in order to support his family. In his retirement years he made the slow decent in being unable to care for himself.
I have told you my story in order to share what led me to read Seeing Through The Fog. 

Thank you Ed Dobson for sharing your story with all of us.

An article from Huffington Post about Ed Dobson, from last January.

Please take the time to watch the less than 10 minute video.
ED'S STORY It Ain't Over from Flannel Staff on Vimeo.

Summary:
Ed Dobson had been pastor of a large church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He resigned the pastorate after the ALS diagnosis. A decade later Ed Dobson wrote a book in order to share his life story especially in regards to this unkind struggle in his life with ALS. His story is one of honesty, not holding back in feelings that to some people may seem dissonant. Sometimes life is harsh, and it is definitely okay to express it in truth. Early in the book Dobson addresses and defines the word hope.
"This is a book about hope. Not the kind of hope that ignores your current circumstances. Not the kind of hope that goes around your current circumstances. Not the kind of hope that dismisses your current circumstances. But the kind of hope that can come only in the midst of your circumstances." Page 16.
My Thoughts:
Dobson had just turned fifty: "It was the first day of the remainder of my life."
At turning fifty myself earlier this year it felt as if I'd arrived, still not sure what that arrival means. But for Dobson it meant a diagnosis of ALS.
Living with an incurable disease rattles the framework of our life. It changes priorities. A different perspective is revealed. What we'd thought our later years would be like, becomes instead something foreign and unknown. We then realize we just thought we had some control over our life.
Dobson tries hard to be stoic, but breaks when he refuses to be "thankful" for ALS.
How can someone be thankful for a disease? Dobson had heard people remark they were thankful they'd had cancer. Dobson could not say he was thankful for ALS. But, he can say he is thankful "in" circumstances. During the circumstance of ALS he is a thankful person. There is a difference.
"In the midst of my struggle I can still be grateful."
Chapter seven is on people who prayed for him to be healed, and when it did not happen he asked: "So where do I find God when heaven is silent?" Later in chapter ten he writes: "Don't get obsessed with being healed."
"...I simply try to focus on God; sometimes He feels close, and sometimes I can see Him only through fog. But I know He's there." Page 111. 
At the end of the book there are two questions which are still rolling around in my head.
"What are you holding back from the offering plate? What areas of your life need to get into the plate?" Page 137. 

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