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In the words of Ed Dobson, writing in the book’s forward, “Seeing Through The Fog’ is a book about hope. Not the kind of hope that ignores your current circumstances. Not the kind of hope that goes around your current circumstances. Not the kind of hope that dismisses your current circumstances. But the kind of hope that can only come in the midst of your current circumstances.” This deeply moving book gives you Ed Dobson’s first hand account of coming to terms and living purposefully with the grief and despair of the degenerative, debilitating illness, ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. More commonly known - and feared, by the initials MND - Motor Neurone Disease.
Forced to give up his calling to be a pastor of others, Ed struggled against sinking into a time of despair and loss. His diagnosis and terminal prospects caused him to reflect on the people he’d previously ministered to, who were going through chronic illness and dying situations themselves. His book tells how he learned to connect with other motor neurone sufferers like never before despite the feeling a loss of purpose that haunts him. He experiences a profound understanding of the suffering of Jesus, yet struggles with discussions and thoughts about healing asking why is he not healed if God loves him.
Ed Dobson prepares for his final journey not through theologizing about suffering, fairness, and death, but through intentionally working out his relationships with others and living meaningfully in his remaining years. What fills this book with hope is Dobson's courageous decision to do his best with whatever is left to him, despite the fog.
Seeing Through The Fog by Ed Dobson was published by David C Cook in October 2012 and is our 62428th best seller. The ISBN for Seeing Through The Fog is 9780781405553.
Foreword: By Joni Eareckson Tada
1. The Diagnosis
2. The Fog
3. Connecting With Others
4. Pastor No More
5. A Year Of Living With Jesus
6. Giving Thanks
7. When God Is Silent
11. I’m Still Living
12. God In The Past Present And Future
- Reflection Guide
“Dobson makes a decision to seek forgiveness from people that he has offended in the past. From Bob Jones University to the Moral Majority movement; from Jerry Falwell to James Dobson, he puts relationship above the level of arguing whether something is right/wrong. The rest of the book covers his thoughts about worry, about healing, about God, heaven, and many more.” – Reader Review, ‘Seeing Through The Fog’
“I appreciate the straightforwardness and deep thinking shared by the author. ALS [motor neurone disease] is described as a "terminal, non-irreversible and terminal" disease in this book and it reminds me of the aging process that everybody is experiencing… I am sure I will think more of this book as I grow older or one day I am facing a terminal disease myself.” – Reader Review, ‘Promises and Prayers’.
“I bought this book for a friend who is dying of cancer. I thought it might bring him some inspiration and comfort. I thought he would accept what the author was saying because the author is dying from an incurable disease, too, so he has special credibility on the subject. A lot of insight and honesty in a small volume.” – Reader Review, ‘Promises and Prayers’.
Ed Dobson grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He recalls how, one day while travelling through the city on the top deck of double-decker bus, the fog rolled in. The fog was so thick the driver couldn’t see his way and a man had to walk along the bus directing its progress. Ed remembers feel in that he was no longer in control, he was controlled by the fog. That, he says, is how it feels to have motor neurone disease – or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) to use its medical definition. Whatever you call it, as Ed goes on to describe, it’s a disease that causes you to die. It’s degenerative and it gets worse. It can’t be stabilised and can’t be reversed. When Ed was diagnosed, he knew what to expect. Two of his friends had already died from the disease; one of them in Ed’s presence. He’s watched their decline and given what comfort he could.
Ed begins his account describing how he thought his life was over and that he’d been buried alive. But the following Sunday he still had to preach, taking his lead from 2 Timothy 4:2 – “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.” Meaning preach the truth, when it’s convenient and when it’s not. He took his text from Mark 6:45-51, the story of Jesus calming the storm on Galilee, finding comfort in the reminder though he could not see Jesus, Jesus could see him. Also the parallel story in Matthew 14:28 when Jesus walks across the waves to his followers in their boat. This seemed Jesus way of saying, “I see you, Ed. I’m walking to you. I’m in your boat. You can trust me.” His book follows his commitment to coming to terms with the disease that will eventually kill him. With side panels inserted into the pages of his story, the former pastor and author includes detail from his own life and relevant passages and thoughts from the Bible.
It’s not a book about miracles. It’s about the reality of find purpose with Christ even as everything material turns to loss. It offers no false reassurance that healing will come, nor does it dress up defeat as a false victory. It is a book for those who are prepared to live with a debilitating disease, rather than merely die from it. In that respect it’s one of the most honest books on suffering ever written. But it’s through being honest about the worst of the suffering that the book becomes even more honest about the best of the hope. There’s no sugar coating for this bitter pill. No reprieve and ‘sweet by and by’ promises. It’s a book for those who want to face life and not hide from it – or hide others from it. ‘Seeing Through The Fog’ includes a photograph of Ed as his muscles waste away and his limbs no longer respond to his will. Yet across this photo is in bold capitals is the statement: “It ain’t over til it’s over.” – Les Ellison
More than 10 years ago, doctors diagnose Pastor Ed Dobson with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease [motor neurone disease]) and gave him two to five years to live. Ed’s journey since then has been one of thanking God for each new day – and remembering that life isn’t over yet.
Ed spent most of his life preaching sermons, but this book is not a series of sermons. He has spent more than ten years with a debilitating illness but this book is not a treatise on grief. He has found deep joy in the midst of sorrow but this book is not about simply looking on the bright side.
In ‘Seeing Through The Fog’, Ed offers wisdom for anyone going through painful circumstances. He knows firsthand the journey of questions, discouragement, and loss. But more than anything, this book is about what happens when suffering allows us to see, perhaps for the first time, the beauty of our lives. This is a book of hope.
Ed Dobson, pastor emeritus of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serves as an advisory editor for Christianity Today and consulting editor for Leadership. He holds an earned doctorate from the University of Virginia, was named “Pastor of the Year” by Moody Bible Institute, and is author of numerous books including The Year of Living Like Jesus, and Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness. He is also the subject of the seven-part film series Ed’s Story. He lives with his family in Grand Rapids, Michigan
|Author / Artist||Ed Dobson|
|Publisher||David C Cook (October 2012)|
|Number of Pages||173|
|Page last updated||14th September 2018|