This book’s biggest impact, other than the actual story, is the format that alternates chronologically-written brief chapters by Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela Yuan. Really, it tells two stories of God’s redemption as the book begins with Christopher revealing his homosexuality to his family which brought his mother Angela to such desperation she decided upon suicide. The writings reveal the “divine” happenings along the way God used to reconcile the family to each other and to Himself, as well as the mother’s heartbreaks as her son’s path led to criminal activity with drugs and imprisonment. So gripping is the mother’s tough love, that she was willing to accept anything it would take to bring her son back to her and to her God … and she prayed daily for it to happen. In the end, jail may have saved Christopher’s life. Angela prayed: “I’ll stand in the gap for Christopher. I’ll stand until the victory is won, until Christopher’s heart changes. I’ll stand in the gap every day, and there I will fervently pray.” Ultimately, her heart changed too and she learned to love her son for who he was, even without evidence of any change that she hoped for.
Homosexuality used to be just a word to me, a term that I knew dogmatically what I believed… but slowly God started bringing people into my life that put many faces on the word. Some of those friends may be reading this. This is not the forum to debate – even discuss - what I interpret God to say about homosexuality and what He has shown me through these friends, any more than it is the place to talk about things in my life those friends may differ on. I do want to share here the conclusion that Yuan arrived at. In the chapter “Holy Sexuality”, Yuan writes: “As I continued to read the Bible, I realized that my identity shouldn’t be defined by my sexuality. Paul said in Acts 17:28, ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Christ should be everything – my all in all. My sexual orientation didn’t have to be the core of who I was…My identity was not “gay” or “homosexual,” or even “heterosexual,” for that matter. But my identity as a child of the living God must be in Jesus Christ alone.”
Today, HIV continues to weaken Yuan’s body and immune system and he may begin taking medication soon. He teaches at Moody Bible College and is part of the President’s Task Force on Homosexuality.
I highly encourage you to read this book … you’ll be amazed as you experience God’s mercy, grace and redemption in two of His greatly loved children.