Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Boy Born Dead

Ring, David, David Wideman and John Driver. Read by Paul Michael. The Boy Born Dead: A Story of Friendship, Courage, and Triumph. Christianaudio, 2015. Audiobook.

image from Christianaudio.com

Summary (from Christianaudio.com)
In 1953, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, a baby boy was born--dead. The attending physician set his little body aside and tended to his mother for eighteen minutes. Now, more than sixty years later, that boy leads an internationally known ministry that encourages hundreds of thousands every year. The Boy Born Dead tells his incredible story from the perspective of his best friend, David Wideman.

As a teenager in the small town of Liberty, Missouri, in the late 1960s, David Ring grew up with the challenges that come with cerebral palsy, a result of his eighteen minutes of newborn silence. Along with his physical limitations, Ring was orphaned and shuffled from home to home, finally landing in an abusive situation that made him feel unworthy of love and, eventually, unworthy of life. But God had a purpose for Ring's life, and sent an agent to help him achieve it. Through the friendship of David Wideman, a boy he met in the halls of Liberty High School, Ring found strength he didn't know he had and went on to face his demons, marry the love of his life, and start an international speaking ministry.

Full of hope, this moving story illustrates how friendship and love triumph over adversity. Anyone who faces tough times will treasure this story of hope and courage.

My Thoughts
David Wideman relates the story of his friend, David Ring. He explains that the "nuts and bolts of the story are true."

Chapter 1 sets up Liberty, Missouri and the connection to Jesse James. I wasn't sure how this was going to relate to the two David's story.

Chapter 2 is when David meets David. There was a fight at the bus stop. I was proud of Wideman for standing up for Ring, even though they hadn't officially met yet.

The story alternates between Ring's childhood in Jonesboro, Arkansas and the 1970s Missouri. If I wasn't paying attention while listening, sometimes this was confusing.

Ring is angry and hurt and lashes out at Wideman (and other school mates) who are really trying to be his friend. Finally, one day at a church event, Ring prays at the altar and the "angry fight was out of his eyes" and he became "a part of the Wideman's forever"--his had a conversion and his "words and his steps were not the same." Finally, Ring had hope! When his attitude changed, he was able to be friendly and become a friend. He helped others and became quite popular at school, even running for class officer. Ms. Myers, a teacher at school, was quite progressive for the time, helping Ring with his classes and truly listening to who he was.

It was hard to listen to some of the things Ring endured (death, bullying, cancer, suicide, molestation, death and physical limitations). It was uplifting to hear how he didn't let these events define him...well, maybe the events DID define him! God often uses horrible things to create something beautiful.

Ring's mother was an inspiration, too. She was positive and realistic and would fight for him. She named him David because she knew he's "face a lot of giants" in his lifetime.

I'm glad the book included the quick "fast forward" of what happened to these two men later in life. Ring became a professional speaker and even got an engagement at the school that denied him entrance for seminary (quite ironic!). I tried to remember if I'd heard him speak when I was younger, so after listening to the book, I did a Google search on David Ring. I don't think I did hear him, but I enjoyed listening to his story this summer.

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