A Strangers Gift
True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places
In this very personal, welcoming book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tom Hallman, Jr., shares his journey of faith from indifferent agnostic to growing believer. Faith, Hallman tells us, is looking in the mirror in the morning and wondering why. It’s about doubt and hope. It’s catching a glimpse of a beacon piercing the fog of life and walking toward it, never knowing if you’re headed in the right direction, but pressing onward.
You’ll meet ordinary people and be drawn into conversations that ask probing, almost intrusive questions—conversations that linger in your mind and resonate with your heart—from the ache of a mother who watched her baby die after only twenty days of struggling for life to the peaceful strength of a man working with those whose present situations mirror his past.
Within these pages, you’ll find real and honest accounts of everyday people whose discoveries of faith will inspire and comfort you on your own journey.
The security lock thumped open, and I stepped into Level 3, a neonatal unit where I had been drawn to a drama played out minute by minute. As I stood above two cribs along a back wall, I wondered less about doctors, nurses, and medicine and more about God.
Two babies had been born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Both had been placed on a heart-lung bypass machine to let their organs rest.
One boy had no name. His mother was a crack addict. After giving birth, she abandoned her baby and never returned to the hospital.
In the adjacent crib lay Jonah Van Arnam. His parents were active members of a church and visited their son daily to pray for him and the nurses and doctors.
One afternoon, a nurse pulled me aside and told me a miracle was taking place: the crack addict’s baby was getting better. But . . . Jonah was dying.
Why had God abandoned this couple and their son?
Where was this so-called loving God?