We may have lots of “friends,” but most are little more than surface acquaintances. But who can be called on in a time of need? That person is a true friend.
Justin and Patrick have that kind of relationship, and they have been friends for decades. They were both born in the same hospital within days of each other. Growing up in the same little town, they lived near each other, and attended the same church. It was only natural they would play together, but as they did, they became fast friends. As the years rolled by, they both experienced marriage, parenthood and living long distances apart. Despite that, they maintained their friendship. When their wives and children entered their lives, they, too, formed strong connections with each other.
While they were still young men, Justin began having physical problems that took years to diagnose. As time went on, Justin slowly went from walking normally to needing braces, to a wheelchair, to needing help to eat, bathe, or use the restroom. Finally diagnosed with MAMA, and told it would eventually kill him, Justin has continued living life to the fullest.
During one of their visits, Justin told Patrick about a TV program that documented the walk called Camino de Santiago in Spain. People have continuously walked this strenuous path since the middle ages. It goes up and over mountain tops, frequently the uneven ground is strewn with large rocks, and at times, it might be almost impassable due to mud. The journey has often been done for spiritual reasons, or deep reflecting. Justin wanted to go, but didn’t know how. Patrick told him to go, and said, “I’ll push you!”
With those words, the two men’s lives were propelled into an experience they would never forget. On the very first day of the Camino, they found all the months of hard training didn’t come close to the difficulties of the actual path. People often told them someone in a wheelchair couldn’t attempt this journey, or they would quickly fail if they tried. This book chronicles their experiences they as they attempted to conquer 500 miles of the Camino, along with the hardships they faced—and the ways this changed them.
I really enjoyed reading this true story about Justin and Patrick, as well as, the tales they included from their past. Not to be missed is the bat story (page 202 in my edition). It is one of the funniest stories I have ever read, and I dare you not to smile. Other pilgrims were met along the way, who shared their amazing life stories with the two men. European adventures ranged from the lack of handicap accessibility, to taking part in a Spanish bull-run, to generous acts of kindness by strangers.
Both authors shared life-changing, spiritual insights they gained from this trip. More than anything else, this book is a tribute to friendship, and the incredible things good friends will do for each other. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+18%3A24&version=CJB Proverbs 18:24 sums it up:
“Some ““friends”” pretend to be friends, but a true friend sticks closer than a brother.”
Having recently endured the death of just such a friend, I can testify to the depth of this kind of relationship. Lots of filming was done during this trek, which was then made into a documentary. I recommend this five-star book to everyone who likes true-life stories, or adventures from a Christian viewpoint.
Tyndale House Publishing has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of I’ll Push You, for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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