Max Lucado is my favorite author of Christian books. I love his simple, down-to-earth writing. There's no complex theology, just a straightforward, inspirational message told through a bit of scripture and some illustrative anecdotes.
In "Grace Happens Here," the message is that salvation is the result of grace and grace alone - it can't be earned. Lucado compared grace to a spiritual heart transplant, giving life to a dying person. One of the most poignant stories in the book involved a heart transplant patient who had received the heart of a young lady killed in an accident. The young lady's mother later met the patient and was able to hear her daughter's heart beating in another body. Lucado wrote, "And when God hears your heart, does he not hear the still-beating heart of his Son?"
Throughout the six chapters, the message was consistent: God's grace is undeserved and cannot be earned. It's God's unconditional, freely given gift to us all. Lucado's storytelling style was ideal for the book. A story about a BB gun was used to show how Christ paid for our sin. Another story that came from the classic novel Les Misérables demonstrated how grace can change people for the better. One of the most fascinating anecdotes was how an artist turned junk from the largest garbage dump in Brazil into art treasures. And the familiar story of the prodigal son was used to express the meaning of forgiveness and grace. The son had not earned forgiveness, but his father gave it unconditionally because of his love for his son.
Lucado wrote, "Because God has forgiven us, we can forgive others." The stories used to illustrate forgiveness were remarkable for how deeply someone could be hurt by others and still find forgiveness in their heart. In the most dramatic story, a woman who was almost killed by a teenager's irresponsible prank forgave the youngster and asked the courts for leniency.
With "Grace Happens Here," Max Lucado has delivered another inspirational message in his own unique style, one that gets the message across simply and unequivocally without being preachy or heavy-handed.
Note: I reviewed an advance reader copy of the book made available by the publisher through NetGalley.