The Cross, The Switchblade and the Man who Believed is an excellent read. I found tremendous insight for my own spiritual journey in these pages.
Written by Wilkerson's son, Gary, this book presents the unvarnished story of a man who was completely sold out for Jesus, willing to sacrifice -- but who also experienced significant emotional/relational struggles along the way. Gary is respectful and honest as he interprets the life of his father, and reflects on what it was like "living with David Wilkerson."
Exploring Wilkerson's harsh ultra-conservative Pentecostal roots helps me understand the shrill tone I often picked up from his books, newsletters and messages. For much of his life and ministry, Wilkerson was high on holiness and low on grace.
However, he remained humble and open for personal growth. Surprisingly, it was Leonard Ravenhill who supplied Wilkerson with a fresh understanding of what it really means to live in God's love -- through loaning books by Puritan authors. (I never realized the hyper-Calvinistic Puritans had much to say about grace and love. I'm going to dig in a bit more and give my Calvinist friends more respect.)
Here are a few key truths I gleaned from reading this beautiful story:
1. If we have faith and are completely obedient to God's calling, He will use us in ways far beyond our wildest imagination.
2. Our children need our blessing far more than we realize.
3. God provides for His vision. We just need to follow and step out with faith.
4. When we fail to embrace grace for ourselves, we are hard on other people.
5. It is possible to press into a truth so fully that it becomes partially untrue.
6. God can change lives instantly.
I highly recommend this book -- a great read and helpful resource.
(A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me for review on this blog.)