The Clown of God is one of the most powerfully moving books I have read in a long time. This is the story of the adventures of Giovanni, a poor boy whose ability to entertain brings him renown. The book is full of beautiful illustrations. Tomie de Paola brings real love to the pictures. Giovanni, the people he meets, and the Italian countryside come alive in de Paola's renderings. The visuals in this book dance with color and emotion. However, there are things that run deeper than pretty pictures in these pages. Henri Nouwen once wrote: "There is a deep hole in your being, like an abyss. You will never succeed in filling that hole, because your needs are inexhaustible." Nouwen essentially said that the only solution in this life is to work near the hole. To avoid the twin temptations of dwelling in your pain or working so much that you drown your pain out with the noise of an overly busy life. Giovanni is representative of all those who get caught in the snare of these temptations. He carries the hole, yet denies its nature. In his youth he believes his hole to be mere physical hunger. Allowing the rumbling of his stomach to overpower the groaning of the Spirit, he begins performing in order to try and fill his hole. Unfortunately, treating the symptom never cures the disease. As Giovanni grows older he avoids his hole by allowing the din of worldly success and the cheering of the crowds to drown out the insistence of the still, small voice... Get the book and witness it for yourself.
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