The Reason

The Reason

4.5 104
by William Sirls

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Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker... and then go out. All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church’s large wooden cross?leaving it ablaze and splintered in two. When the storm ends?the search for answers begins.
James Lindy, the church…  See more details below


Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker... and then go out. All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church’s large wooden cross?leaving it ablaze and splintered in two. When the storm ends?the search for answers begins.
James Lindy, the church’s blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity. And he hears the words “only believe.” Macey Lewis, the town’s brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who’s recently been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine?yet is challenged to “only believe.” And Alex’s single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening... to save her son. But she only hears silence and wonders how she can possibly “only believe.”

The Reason is a milestone debut novel, opening with a thunderbolt and never letting up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with the questions: Where is God when bad things happen? And does God ignore the prayers of the faithful? The answer each character receives will astound readers while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, to... only believe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sirls conceived this, his first novel, before he was imprisoned for wire fraud and money laundering. After his release, he attempted to self-publish a much altered version, and an advance copy landed on a desk at Thomas Nelson, who signed the author to a multibook contract. The novel has a strong spiritual element. When a lightning bolt shatters a decorative cross in the yard of a church in a small town in Michigan, a carpenter shows up to repair it. But the carpenter is no ordinary man, as the church pastor, his odd family, and local medical staff treating his adoptive grandchild for leukemia find out in a series of miraculous events that change them dramatically. Sirls relates a parable about characters who discover where God is when they suffer and when people die. This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“From the first page of The Reason, my heart was captured. It is truly a rare and precious gift that could change the way people believe and live out their faith.”
— Kelly Riether, review specialist for major book retailer

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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By William Sirls

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Complete Curriculum, LLC
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8737-3

Chapter One

It was the second time in a little under fifteen minutes that the power had gone out at the church, and it was noticeably darker this time. Almost too dark, for the hour.

Brooke paused—waiting for the lights to come back on as they had before—and stared at the three strange shadows that hovered against the fellowship hall's vaulted ceiling. Something about them seemed alive.

She glanced over at her five-year-old son, Alexander, and lowered her earbuds, noticing the howling wind had stopped. "You okay, buddy?"

"I'm not even scared," Alex said bravely. He gave her a reassuring smile and waved the small rag he liked to use when he helped his mother dust.

Brooke turned off her iPod and then pressed the vacuum's power button a few times. Nothing happened. She shook her head and looked back up at the ceiling. The shadows had somehow become one.

The weatherman on the morning news had said they may be getting some storms, but when she, Alex, and Charlie had come up from the house to clean, only plump, white clouds and a relatively bright sun filled the southeast Michigan sky. But it had been windy. Really windy.

And now the wind was gone.

"It's too dark," Alex whispered. "Charlie is gonna be scared."

"He'll be okay, baby," she said. "The lights will come back on soon."

"But the sky just did some big thunder," Alex said. "You couldn't hear it with your music on your head."

That changes things.

"Charlie!" she yelled, taking Alex's hand and heading quickly across the room toward the tall double doors that separated them from the sanctuary.

Even though Charlie was thirty-eight years old and big as a tree, thunder absolutely terrified him. Even with his familiarity with the church, all his safe places had surely been erased by the darkness and terror flooding his small mind.

She opened the doors and walked into the sanctuary. It was dark, but not nearly as dark as the fellowship hall. It was perfectly quiet.

"Charlie?" Brooke said, glancing up toward the front of the church. She heard nothing but could feel Alex pulling on her pant leg.

"Look, Mom," he said.

She turned, and her eyes followed his little index finger, pointing at the two paned glass doors that served as the main entrance. Brooke squinted and cocked her head to the side. She had never seen the sky that color before.

She took his hand again, walked to the doors, then leaned against one to push it open.

It was deadly still outside. The air was thick and had a strange smell to it. The clouds were now a dark gray and the sky behind them an eerie crayon green, casting down a steady shadow of the same color over everything she could see.

"We better take cover," Brooke whispered, holding the door. She gazed out at the fifteen-foot wooden cross, centered on the church's front lawn. Beyond the woods, she could hear spirited rolls of thunder approaching off the shore of Lake Erie. There was no way in the world Charlie would have ever come out here, let alone try to make it over to the house.

"I want to go back inside," Alex said, letting go of his mother's hand and wrapping his arms around her leg.

Brooke took a deep breath and tilted her head up again to stare at the sky, wondering how much time they had. She looked down the hill at the house, which now seemed so far away. More thunder sounded in the distance. Louder this time.

"Charlie!" Alex shouted. There was panic in his small voice.

Brooke looked back over her shoulder into the church. She leaned her head against the door and waited for Charlie to jump up from between two pews, as he'd done hundreds of times before during hide-and-seek.

"He won't come out, Mom," Alex said. "You know how he is when he's scared."

"He has to be around here somewhere," Brooke said, taking one more look outside. She picked her son up and stepped back into the church, letting the door close behind them. "We have to find him fast, Alex."

She walked along the length of the back pew and stopped when they hit the center aisle. Brooke could see the push sweeper lying on the floor up near the pulpit. Charlie had obviously abandoned it when he heard the first hint of thunder.

Brooke put Alex back on his feet and tried to listen for Charlie.

She looked back at the main entrance. It had clearly gotten darker, and beyond the door's plated glass, lightning flickered gently, as if God were flashing the porch light for someone who had just missed his driveway.

"Charlie!" Brooke yelled again.

"Charlie!" Alex echoed.

They turned and slowly made their way up the main aisle, taking turns calling Charlie's name and looking for him in the darkness between the pews.

"Maybe he did make it down to the house," Brooke said, glancing back at the front doors. The sky had gone from green to black.

They both flinched at the thick volley of thunder that coincided with a flash of lightning, like an X-ray of the church's front lawn.

"I don't like this," Alex said, sounding on the verge of tears.

"It's okay," she said, still staring at the front doors. She held her hand out behind her for Alex to take. He didn't.

"I'm over here," Alex whispered.

Brooke turned around and could barely see him. He was nothing more than a small shadow kneeling in the pew. "What are you doing?"

"Praying we find Charlie."

Brooke kneeled next to him and struggled to slow her breathing. Please, Lord, keep us safe. She put her arm around Alex and pulled him closer. She could feel his little heart pounding against her palm.

Alex squeezed her arm and closed his eyes as she pulled him closer still. She kissed the top of his head as a violent peal of thunder boomed directly over the church.

"No!" Alex cried.

"Let's go," Brooke said, taking Alex's hand. As they rose, she thought she heard something over the rain. It was dark, but she could vaguely make out some of the shadows around them. The pews. The dim outlines of windows. A stack of rarely used folding chairs against the wall. They stepped into the aisle, and Brooke proceeded to look mechanically to her left, then to her right, her head's slowly shifting movements reminding her of a low-end security camera.

She saw little, but she definitely heard something. Charlie. He was crying. But the sound of him was drowned out by thunder so loud it reverberated in her chest, and by the wind that had finally returned with a vengeance.

"Make it stop!" Alex begged, grabbing hold of her leg again.

She turned to comfort him and looked outside. Another finger of lightning darted across the grounds, and Brooke flinched as the entire front lawn disappeared into a brilliant flash of reddish-orange light. It was gone before she could shield her eyes, and the deafening blast that followed shook the building, sending them both instinctively to the floor. She draped her arms around Alex. He was trembling, and she didn't blame him. Whatever had just happened outside was unlike anything she had ever seen or heard. They needed better cover—to get out of this big space.

"Charlie!" she yelled, quickly standing and then picking up Alex. "Where are you?"

There was no response.

"What if he's hurt?" Alex cried.

"What in the world?" she said.

"Do you see him, Mom?"

Brooke squinted at the glass of the front doors.

Something was burning outside. Flames seemed to float in the dark about ten feet in the air, then rapidly weakened under the assault of the constant rain.

"What's that?" Alex asked. As he spoke, the last of the fire went out.

"I think it was the cross," she answered.

"Oh no," Alex said, like a concerned old man. He leaned his head on her shoulder. "Please, let's hurry. Let's find him."

She raised her finger to her lips, gently requesting that he be quiet. As they waited and listened for Charlie, all Brooke could hear was the continuous tapping of the rain on the windows.

"A car's coming," Alex said. Headlights made their way up into the parking lot of the small church.

"It has to be Shirley and Pastor Jim," she whispered. A peculiar clicking sound came from the other side of the building, restoring the power.

Only two of seven lights were on in the sanctuary, offering them no real improvement in their ability to see Charlie, but they both breathed a little easier.

"I like that better," Alex said.

"Me too, little man."

"Can you turn the rest on, Mom?"

"Sure," she said. They heard a humming sound coming from somewhere in the building and looked at each other.

"What's that noise?" Alex asked.

"I think it's the vacuum cleaner over in the fellowship hall. I must've left it on when we lost power."

Alex smiled and she kissed the top of his head again. There was more thunder, but it seemed to be fading. The storm was easing away, and now Brooke was sure she could hear Charlie.

"I hope the dumb lights stay on this time," Alex said. "I wish they—"

"Shh," Brooke said, moving slowly toward the front of the church. One dome light cast a peacefully soothing glow over the altar, an old Wurlitzer piano, and a hand-carved pulpit.

She tilted her head and lifted her hand. She definitely heard someone sniffle.

"We need to find Charlie," Alex said, as if she'd forgotten.

"We just did," Brooke said, running her hand through Alex's bright-red hair. Charlie was up in the nave, lying down between the last two pews, where the choir sat. All she could see of him was the white, size twenty-one tennis shoes on the carpet, sticking out past the end of the bench.

Brooke carried Alex up to the choir stalls and stepped into the row in front of Charlie's hiding spot. She lowered Alex to stand on the seat cushion above Charlie, and they both leaned over and looked down.

Charlie Lindy was perfectly still, flat on his back, with his eyes closed and his hands over his ears.

"There you are, big guy," Brooke said. "It's okay, Charlie."

Alex started giggling. "You big fraidy cat, Charlie!"

"It's okay, Charlie," Brooke repeated softly. "The storm is about over."

Charlie opened his eyes and looked up at them. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and he immediately shut them again.

"It's all right," she said assuredly. "It's going away."

Charlie reluctantly opened his eyes again, and they shifted quickly from side to side. He slowly sat up and lowered his hands from his ears. He smiled at Brooke and pointed at the light switch behind her.

"You got it, big guy," she said.

"You're a big fraidy cat!" Alex laughed, jumping up and down while holding out his arms for Charlie to take him.

"I think we were all afraid," Brooke said soothingly as she turned to switch on more lights.

"No!" Alex yelled, his voice echoing off the church's painted white brick walls.

Brooke spun around and found herself staring straight into Charlie's barrel-like chest. His right arm extended firmly out to his side like a thick branch. At the end of that limb, two feet above her head, Alex dangled helplessly facedown as Charlie's mammoth hand held him by the backside of his tiny Levi's. She smiled and put her hands on her hips.

"Okay!" Alex shouted again, followed by a playful giggle. "Okay, Charlie! You're not a fraidy cat!"

Charlie grinned and effortlessly flipped Alex upright to sit on his enormous shoulders. Alex balanced himself by hanging on to one handful of the giant man's cropped blond hair and another handful of his left ear. Charlie's oversized fingers wrapped carefully around the boy's thigh to hold on to him. His other hand slowly lifted, opened, and then revealed a single Tic Tac, which Alex gratefully snatched up.

Brooke was giving Charlie a thumbs-up when Shirley Lindy came through the door. Shirley wore a plastic blue poncho and pulled out tissue to wipe away the small beads of water on her wire-rimmed glasses.

"Hello there, Alexander," Shirley said, looking up at him.

"Hi, Mrs. Lindy," he said. "We couldn't find Charlie and he scared me!"

"Me too," Brooke said. "Where is Pastor Jim?"

"I left him out front," the older woman replied.

"What's he doing out there in the rain?" Brooke asked.

"We have a little problem," Shirley answered, holding up her hand and reeling in her right index finger, silently inviting them to come and see.

Brooke was the first outside as Shirley held the door for a ducking Charlie, who still had Alex saddled comfortably on his shoulders.

A gentle fog had rolled onto the property, and the storm had been reduced to a misty drizzle. Brooke's breath clouded before her mouth and nose. But her eyes were on Pastor Jim.

"Oh no," she sighed. "I saw this happen."

Brooke slid her arms sympathetically around Shirley's shoulders as Alex lowered his chin to the top of Charlie's head.

Pastor Jim knelt in a shallow puddle with his head down and hands resting on the top half of the large wooden cross that lay on the ground before him.

Lightning had struck.

Chapter Two

Twenty-seven-year-old Carla Miller sat quietly on a corner bar stool at The Pilot Inn. She was halfway into her first Bacardi and Coke and wished she could smoke a cigarette. She took a deep breath and ran her finger slowly down the side of her glass. She hadn't had a smoke in over a year and knew the craving wouldn't last long. It felt kind of good to be in control of something, at least.

Despite being one of the area's most popular watering holes, the storm had made it a slow night at The Pilot. The sticky smells of stale beer that usually haunted the hundred-year-old bar and diner were minimized by both a light crowd and a splintered mop handle that propped the back door partially open, allowing rain-fresh air to waft through. Only one of the televisions was on, making it a little darker than usual, and the Guess Who's "No Time Left for You" was playing a little too loudly from the corner jukebox. Carla wasn't sure why she only liked listening to old songs. She guessed that they made her think of her father and the short amount of time she had with him.

She shook it off. This wasn't going to be another one of those nights where the promises she had made to herself once again ended up in small pieces scattered all over the floor of the bar. The song ended to the sarcastic applause of an overweight man in his midfifties. A trucker? A construction worker? His fat, sausage-like fingers held a bottle of Bud Light as he slammed four quarters down on the edge of the pool table, securing his right to play the current game's winner. He glanced back at Carla with eyes as gray and worn as his face, giving her the once-over. It didn't bother Carla. Men had always liked her. Though the cigarettes and booze hadn't been kind to her looks, she took a fair amount of consolation in her ability to turn heads.

She rested her chin on the palm of her hand and then looked up. In the long mirror that ran the length of the wall behind the bar, she could see her best friend—her only real friend—Brooke Thomas, walking through the saloon doors that separated the two halves of the bar and diner. It was good to see Brooke, but if she was venturing into the bar, it must have been a really rough day for her. They had known each other for over ten years now, and Brooke had spent the last two doing a pretty solid job of not meeting Carla anywhere that sold alcohol. Enable was the word Brooke liked to use, even though it bugged Carla.

"I hoped I'd find you here," Brooke said, taking off her coat before sitting on the stool next to her. "Busy day at drama central. Went to the free clinic to have Alex checked, then we cleaned the church all afternoon. That was some kind of crazy storm, huh?"

"It was somethin'," Carla responded, hugging Brooke while giving a peace sign to the bartender. "Kathy, let's have two more rum and Cokes. Hold the rum on one." She turned back to Brooke. "What'd you find out about Alex?"

"They want us to come back tomorrow so they can run some tests on him."

"What kind of tests?"

"Blood tests and a couple of other things. Can you go with me?"

"Sure. What time?"

"Have to be there at seven forty-five."

"I'll pick you guys up at quarter after. What are they testing for?"

"Routine stuff," Brooke said, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose. "You think it's something bad?"

Carla lowered her cheek to Brooke's shoulder and put her arm around her for another quick hug. "I'm sure it's not. Alex is gonna be just fine."

"I know," Brooke said, smiling in a way that seemed a little forced. Her light green eyes begged for more assurance. "But the cross outside St. Thomas won't be fine. Lightning struck it."

"You're kidding."

"No. Wait until you see it."

"Don't worry about the cross," Carla said. "It can be replaced."


Excerpted from THE REASON by William Sirls Copyright © 2012 by Complete Curriculum, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Reason 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
First of all, I will let you know that my review of the novel The Reason is definitely influenced by the place I am in at this time of my life. I have just finished spending two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital with my mother. The things we as a family witness and experienced during that time and after have caused us to be more aware of the miracles around us than we were before that. Having said that, I really enjoyed The Reason, and would recommend it to everyone. There was one place where one of the characters acknowledges that they know who the carpenter really is, and then shortly afterwards they question him again, which threw me off but other than that, I found the story line flowed seamlessly, the plot and the characters were well devolped and believable. I resonated with Alex's mother as she hopes for a miracle, just as we hoped for a miracle with our mom and realized together with Macey Lewis the oncologist James Lindy the churche's blind minister and the friends of Alex and his mom, in the novel, that truly, no matter how much we try on our own, we must come to the conclusion that God is ultimately in control! What a mighty God we serve! No matter what you have experienced I think this novel will give you fresh hope and courage in God's Love.
Book_AddictRD More than 1 year ago
Great characterizations, The Reason has good pacing and excellent prose. Very descriptive, emotional, and uplifting, but have tissues handy for several parts if you are empathetic at all.
samcivy More than 1 year ago
The Reason William Sirls ©2012 Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978-1-4016-8736 (trade paper) 396 pp. plus author’s note and Reading Group Guide The Reason is a story so well written readers can believe such events really could happen. And since with God nothing is impossible, these events surely could happen. Brooke Thomas never told her former boss, Ian, that he was the father of her son, Alex—until Alex needed a bone marrow match to recover from leukemia. Brooke’s boss, Carla Miller believes she’s worthless and can’t forgive or be forgiven. Dr. Zach Norman doesn’t realize he’s destroying relationships with his selfishness and self-centeredness. Dr. Macey Lewis believes she personally must cure every child with cancer. Pastor Jim and his wife Shirley love their brain-damaged, seven-foot tall son, Charlie, even though he cannot speak. They also love the small church they lead. The cross outside the church has just been damaged by lightning and they can’t afford to replace it. Charlie loves Alex. Tim Shempner is thoroughly rotten--not worth saving. Or is he? How the mysterious Kenneth affects each character in this story will change their lives forever. The Reason will leave readers filled with hope that nothing happens without a purpose and with the satisfaction of reading a tale well told.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book- Highly recommend!!
esosweet More than 1 year ago
I wasn't initially drawn to The Reason. The premise didn't make sense, but when I started reading it, I was immediately drawn into the story. The story begins on a dark and stormy day. The lightening from the storm strikes the large wooden cross in front of a small church in Mighican. The repair of the cross unites a group of characters that together meet Kenneth, a man who is different from anyone they’ve ever known.  Kenneth joins the group as they work to repair the cross and his life begins to intersect the other characters in very mysterious ways. His faith is strong, even stronger than Pastor Jim. As this group of people faces difficulties Kenneth encourages them to “Only believe.” Will they be able to believe in the face of tremendous heartache? Trouble from the past? A belief in modern medicine? I really enjoyed The Reason.  I didn’t want to put it down, but when I was forced too, I found myself thinking about the story and wanting to know what was going to happen. There was a lot in the book and the various and varying storylines were a bit confusing to follow at times, but they eventually all made sense. This is a great book for anyone as it is a tremendous story sure to help build or reinforce your faith.  Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
AndreaK1 More than 1 year ago
Amazing tearjerker that will re-ignite your faith!
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loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
 William Sirls' books are compelling reads. Even though I read them several weeks ago, I can't wait to read them again because I know I will stiil enjoy it and get more from it. They are  deep, thought-provoking, inspiring, enjoyable books. I can't wait to read more of this author. The Reason revolves around a church family,a doctor,  and a carpenter. Each one brings their own story and their own part to the other characters stories. There is illness, hospitals, lightening, crosses, and disbelief. It all comes together to make a suspenseful, emotional, lesson learning experience. I recieved this book from the author and the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
This book begins with the cross of a small town church being destroyed by lightning. I was quickly captivated by the characters – a single mom, her adorable little boy, the blind pastor and his wife, their gentle giant mentally challenged son, 3 medical personnel, and one miracle performing carpenter. The characters seemed so real and William Sirls has woven an incredible story, almost a modern What Would Jesus Do? As I read I wondered if I would have the faith that the characters in the story have, especially as the pasts of several characters are reveled and the circumstances of some get harder. What an amazing book! “Only Believe” is the theme that runs throughout it – believe in the miracles that God can perform when we believe. I loved this book and look forward to reading more by William Sirls. I highly recommend it - I couldn’t put it down until I finished it! I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading The Reason by William Sirls. It was a great read. I liked the length as I felt it gave me plenty of time to get to really know the characters and there were so many, I felt like I was part of the small town myself. Something else I love in a book. Most of all, though, despite the great storylines and the way he kept the stories moving and interconnecting with each other, he made me think. He addressed questions most Christians struggle with in such a way as to bring peace. Recently I’ve been on the sidelines of a struggle similar to what one of these characters went through and have seen how God has been with this particular family, speaking the same truths to them as were spoken in this book. While this is fiction, it’s much more. I recommend reading The Reason as it will open your eyes to much more than a great story with incredible characters. It just might reinforce “the reason” why, if you do, you believe. I can’t wait to read his next book, The Sinner’s Garden. I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a very thought-provoking fiction book! While this book is fiction, it really taught me a lot about "only believing". This book centers around a group of people associated with the church. Some different scenarios happen with everyone in the book but they all center around one theme. I loved the way the author brought them all together. And just when you think you know the ending, there is a twist. This book had me in tears near the end and I was amazed at how inspirational this fiction book was. I would recommend this book to everyone! I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Often we ask “why God” when tragedies happen, when good people suffer injustices and when we cannot explain away heartbreaking events. In his book, The Reason, William Sirls weaves together a story of “why God” events with characters who must face their realities without knowing why things have happened. Along the way, each person is given time to examine their own beliefs and their own struggles and given one job “only believe”. When good enough is not enough, faith becomes a life line. When trying desperately to hold on with blind faith, the deepest questions surface, and need to be exposed so that God’s truth can bring peace even if the situation is not changed. Mr. Sirls does an incredible job of telling about God’s sovereignty and providence with a delightful cast of characters. The book was incredibly touching and not easily forgotten. Although the story is fictional, I was swept into the story and found myself literally enveloped in tears at one point. The Reason is a must read book. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
TheIndigoQuill More than 1 year ago
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . blogspot . com I received this book in exchange for an honest review.         First I would like to note that I'm extremely happy that this book takes place in my home state of Michigan. They are far and few between, but every time I pick one up I automatically feel connected to the story. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is rich in instruction, inspiration, and development; not only for the characters involved, but the reader as well. You will find yourself engrossed within the story, and even if the information and dialogue is all content your already claim to know, it will be a refresher for you and perhaps communicated in a new light. If it is all new to you, then you will enjoy the journey of learning and growing as you may have some unanswered questions brought to light. The only thing I can complain about this book is that at times it could be predictable. However, there were still plenty of twists and anyone can relate to at least one of the characters, so I was kept interested and tied to the story. Believer or unbeliever, Sirls passion for one main theme is evident: simply believing. To believe in miracles and the unexpected. To believe that no matter what you are going through, there is always a reason even if it may not be evident at the time. It is a nice reminder, and we are given a fresh perspective into life. We are not simply here by accident, but there is a reason for everything, and above all, reason to believe that. I really enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a chance to pick up a copy of the second book, The Sinner's Garden, but I really hope to soon. This is a great book with a lot of depth and I can't wait to read the next one.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
The Reason, the first published novel by William Sirls, is phenomenally amazing. I find it a challenge to put into words the way this novel reaches into the heart of the reader and compels from the beginning. Its messages speak to one’s heart gently, yet with all the intensity of the lightning that split the cross at St. Thomas Church and set it afire. Pastor James Lindy, eyes blinded by disease, has a heart of wisdom and gift of discernment that aids him in caring for those in his church and home. His family includes Shirley, his wife of many years, and their son Charlie, a gentle giant of a man, who is mute and developmentally disabled. Pastor Lindy’s extended family includes Brooke, a young single mother who was in need of a home along with Alex, her five year old son. After an unusually harsh thunderstorm in which lightning struck and splintered the huge cross on the church grounds, a group of church members and volunteers from the local hospital plan to repair the cross if at all possible after a Sunday service. The volunteers include a young man named Kenneth who is a carpenter working at the expansion of East Shore Community Hospital. With only James and his mute son Charlie present, Kenneth repairs the demolished cross to perfect condition in a matter of seconds, stunning the volunteers who had been gathered in the house with Shirley. Inexplicable miracles begin to occur within the community. Those who spend any amount of time around Kenneth know that there is something different about him. That includes a young lady whose heart he seems to see directly into, knowing everything, including the shame and pain that she hides from everyone. It also includes Pastor James, Charlie, and others who take his challenge – “only believe” – seriously. Others mull over the individual challenges Kenneth offers them. Then what seems to be the worst happens – young Alex is diagnosed with leukemia – and as treatments are determined and begun, Brooke’s questions echo those that have been around since the fall of man. Where is God…why my only child…. “Only believe” sounds so simple until the diagnosis is made. Mr. Sirls has been silent, coming to know that God is truly God – the God of love, of grace, and of second chances. The circumstances that brought him to an incredible relationship with the Lord are nothing short of a miracle in disguise, a miracle that showed him the reason. If you read one Christian novel this year that demonstrates the potential every church community has for God’s supernatural work, make this your choice. It is written with the excellence and assurance of a man who knows his Lord and Savior and what He can do. If you miss The Reason, you could miss the challenge of your personal gift if you will only believe. I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
The Reason by William Sirls How can one family face adversity, tragedy, miracles, and heartbreak. And yet still have faith. They can because they ….. only believe. Pastor James Lindy and wife Shirley have taken in Brooke and her young son Alex. They complete their small family along with their special needs son Charlie. A storm destroys and takes out the church’s cross but brings so much more to the community. As repairs are made they see miracles. Kenneth an ordinary carpenter is new to town but where he goes strange and wondrous things happen. Quote: “ He knew without a doubt that miracles took place all the time, and that everyone - without exception - was from the hand of God. There were big ones. There were small ones. There were those everyone noticed, like surviving life-threatening illness and accidents. Then there were many more that went unnoticed, like healthy children, something to eat, a roof , someone to love, birth and sometimes, even death. He wondered what the world would be like if people would just stop and take the time to look at everything they were given everyday of their lives and be thankful --to offer thanks and try to realize their personal miracles were coming from, and give credit where it was rightfully due.” The author William Sirls is new to me. In fact this is his first book. I found his work to be a breath of fresh air, well written with compelling stories of faith. The authors strong faith shines in this great book. I am so looking forward to his next book The Sinners Garden. Author Carrie Daws once said, “You know it's a good book when you are emotionally invested in it,” and I promise you will be invested in this wonderful story. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it. High-five to the author William Sirls and publisher for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. The Book Club Network Inc. provided me with this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for their, the authors and publishers generosity.
annelr More than 1 year ago
A loving pastor struck blind, a caring physician who realizes she may not be in control of things as she thought, mothers who cannot make their children whole, a self-centered doctor dealing with hidden guilt and into the mix comes a mysterious stranger. A stranger who often seems familiar and who may have been here all along. William Sirls brings to life believable characters dealing with issues to which his readers certainly can relate. Sorrow, guilt, romance, hope, peace,and ultimately miracles. The Reason captures human emotion very well.  Perhaps a wake-up call to see others in a new light and to respond by living out ones faith in a way that God is glorified. Pick up the book and you won't want to put it down.  I received this book for free from BookClubNetwork and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I have also posted this review on Amazon, Goodreads, , and Deeper Shopping.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will stay with you. It is written well and gives a true message. One of my favorites. I hope William Sirls has more.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To Believe is the message I will always remember. Everyone should read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend The Reason to anyone! It was just a wonderful book "Just believe!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book and would recommend it to everyone, especially those who lack faith in God. I have never cried so much reading the ending of a book... everyone should read this amazing novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot begin to express how much i loved this story. Just read it...... only believe