Christian Self Help
The Line In The Sand
The Line in the Sand - Review #1 - Jorge Talavera
The following review was submitted by Jorge Talavera (10/20/03). Jorge was right there for me when I was beginning to write this work. I would come to him with a story about what I had learned or where I was in my progress. He was sometimes my sounding board, and as a trained writer, I humbly respect his input to this day. He helped to guide this effort along the way, which I deeply appreciate! It was during one of these discussions that I was describing how my friend Greg had named one of my chapters (Bankruptcy). So, being sometimes spontaneous, I asked him, "What's the first thing that comes to your mind?" To my surprise, He said, "Don't put that pressure on me." "That's perfect, thanks!" I said, as I walked away... Thank you Jorge! Without you, this project wouldn't be where it is right now! I owe you...
"The Line in the Sand" crosses "the line" many times for this reader, which is what makes it exceptional and simultaneously discomforting. Paradoxically, it's like the advice from someone who knows you so well that you smile wryly because their advice is so "on point."
You almost don't want to hear this type of advice, but it provides clarity for your actions and insights into yourself you know exist, but perhaps had never articulated. The Line is both dreary and inspiring, dark and comical. Yet, the more I reflect on the book, the more beauty I find in it because it is genuine and marginal with regard to what men and women discuss openly.
The Line is the sharing of the human experience; a reflection and attitude toward the emotions humans have faced since the beginning of time. Fear. Joy. Human Instinct. Hierarchical organization. Us versus them. We all struggle with the norms placed upon us and deal with similar issues in very different ways. The Line is a thoughtful, well written, and sometimes painfully reflective look at the struggles we face in the many roles we play in life.
There are easy reads, and then there is The Line. My personal foxhole and ensuring wall has cost me dearly in my short life. I've seen how the concepts of "Incoming," "Pressure," and "I'll Show You" have shaped (and damaged) the personal relationships in my life, and as difficult as that is to admit, it is also liberating. That is the uncomfortable clarity that The Line provides. The concepts ring true and the metaphors are innovative and honest, especially in this time of perpetual war!
The concepts and complex issues that The Line deals with are its greatest strengths which make the book cohesive. The author's reflection is stirring, and at times jarring, like a punch in the face. But an ever present optimism bounces the reader back through apparent joy in the authorís voice. At times, the writing style takes on the feel of a "how to" book or study guide. This works when providing solutions as in Grand Canyon and Spelunking. What to do to begin the healing process is important because providing the problems and no remedies or proposed solutions would not work well. At other times, the voice is very informal. The informal tone does a wonderful job of communicating in a spoken approach and sharing the author's optimism. The author conveys a comfortable voice through this writing style.
What is certain is the ideas are moving and force introspection. At risk of sounding critical, on occasion the novel is overwhelming because of its nature, but the messages are strong and well crafted. More than just musings or commentary, the author effectively uses his own experiences, as well as intellectual and literary tools, to communicate moving messages and how they can be applied in the lives of people today. To a non-believer, it could be difficult to swallow. To one struggling with their faith, it may hit home. To the faithful, it will make perfect sense. It certainly has the power to hit many readers right in the heart as one is forced to discover and explore their unique lines in the sand!