No one has had a greater influence on my life than the 19th-century Scottish minister, novelist, and poet George MacDonald. His writings—along with those of C.S. Lewis—were what the Lord used to lead me to Himself thirteen years ago.
My novel Hearts Set Free contains one quote from MacDonald, who is the “wise man” referred to in the following passage:
“Do you think it’s possible to believe in hell, and not in heaven?” Tim asked. “The devil seems entirely more plausible than God; and, really, it’s his punishment that I deserve.”
“But there is no place that is not ruled by our sovereign Lord,” his host replied, “and His punishments are as merciful as they are just, for they serve to turn our hearts to Him. A wise man once wrote that ‘there can be no such agony for created soul, as to see itself vile—vile by its own action and choice. The severest punishment that can be inflicted upon the wrong-doer is simply to let him know what he is; for his nature is of God, and the deepest in him is the divine.’”
It was from the Scotsman that I learned that justice and mercy are not opposed to each other, but two sides of the same coin, for every attribute of God is another facet of His love. And it was only after seeing myself as the fallen man I am, only after bearing the pain of seeing the worst of myself, that the deepest part of me could be set free to respond to His amazing grace.
If you enjoy tales of how prodigals find their way home, I think you’ll enjoy Hearts Set Free!
"...a riveting ride...the saga--which could easily span several books--embraces aspects of multiple genres, including action/adventure, supernatural, mystery, and romance. Christian fiction fans will enjoy this book, as will anyone who appreciates fine writing and expert plot development. Ultimately, the author creates such a believable world that by the end of this wild ride, readers might wonder if this had, indeed, actually happened."
—BlueInk Review STARRED REVIEW ("highest quality and especially worthy of reader attention")
"Jess Lederman's uplifting and compelling Christian novel Hearts Set Free is about hearts that come to Jesus in unexpected ways...Gripping scenes, including some where the characters’ lives are at risk, make the story feel even more genuine. Christianity is not glamorized. The story does not evade real, hard questions such as about the rationale of suffering in the presence of a loving God. Reflecting upon the presence of a God who seeks a personal relationship with human beings, Hearts Set Free is a powerful and inspiring novel.”
—Foreword Clarion Reviews