Book Beat – Rush of Heaven

Rush of HeavenI don’t read much non-fiction, other than research books, and I wouldn’t have picked up Rush of Heaven except that my dear friend Cheryl Ricker is the co-author. And I’m so glad I did.

In 1993, Ema McKinley suffered a horrible workplace accident. Over the next eighteen years a condition called reflex sympathetic dystrophy stole everything from her – everything but her faith. Slowly her body betrayed her, the muscles contracting so she was confined to a wheelchair, permanently bent to the side, her hands and feet useless. Over the years, despite disfigurement, numerous hospitalizations, and horrific pain (as a pharmacist, I was astounded by her dosage of morphine), her faith only grew – firm, optimistic, filled with humor and concern for others.

If Ema’s story ended here, it would be an extraordinary testimony of how one woman clung to God in the darkness and persevered. But it didn’t end there. On Christmas Eve, 2011, Jesus Christ came to Ema and healed her. For the first time in years, she could stand up straight and walk. Over the next few months, she was weaned off her pain medication and her strength only increased. For the skeptical reader (count me in!), Ema includes excerpts from her medical records and plenty of photographs.

Wow. What a story. Ema’s cheerful faith shines brightly throughout the book, even when she is in situations that would warrant complete despair. But Jesus Himself is truly the main character – not just His miraculous power to heal – but also His power to keep Ema going through eighteen torturous years.

Cheryl Ricker’s writing brings the story to life. While I’ve known Cheryl for years, I never once heard Cheryl’s voice. Only Ema’s. And that takes true writing talent. The book is well organized and reads exceptionally well. Cheryl gave Ema’s phenomenal story the faithful rendering it deserved. Thank you for a touching and inspiring read.

One Response to “Book Beat – Rush of Heaven”

  1. Cheryl Ricker

    Thanks Sarah! That’s the ultimate praise for you to say I captured Ema’s voice and that mine stayed unrecognizable. Thank you, Lord! He led me to listen to my interviews of Ema wherever I went, whether camping, grocery shopping, or zooming around town. God helped me every step of the way; so to God be the glory!

    In planning and writing this book, I wanted to show God’s miracle working power in the midst of a series of ever-darkening storms. I wanted readers to find in Ema an example of faith, perseverance, and hope. I wanted to leave them with the assurance that no matter how impossible their storm, God loves them and has not forgotten them. With God ALL things are possible, even miraculous healings!