I just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy, after reading how it inspired a new song by one of my favorite artists. This book received a Pulitzer Prize a few years back, and I checked it out of the library looking forward to some good recreational sci-fi/fantasy reading. Boy, was I in for a shock.
The Road tells the story of a nameless father and son as they journey through a wasted and barren post-apocalyptic world looking for food, shelter, and hope. It is a bleak, disturbing, brilliant tale, and not for the faint of heart. I’m serious – I couldn’t sleep after reading parts of this book.
Yet within its horror-stricken and despairing pages, The Road wrestles with some very familiar spiritual themes – the bond between father and son, what it truly means to be human, the plight of a self-orphaned race living in a reality in which “nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave” (p. 143).
And adoption. The book concludes with one of the most moving pictures of adoption I’ve ever encountered. It left me weeping, thinking of my own children, including Sonja Ruth – in orphan’s bed, or mother’s womb, or wherever she is today. It strengthened my resolve to stay this calling and this course, to “carry the fire” for her.