God’s Feet Are In My Sandbox By: Rick Anderson
Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC, 127 E. Trade Center Terrace, Mustang,Oklahoma73064, 978—1617398100, $ 17.99, 2011, 226 pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (07/2011)
The Struggle to Reconciling Faith and Justice, Love and Hope
Author Rick Anderson openly chronicles his spiritual journey. His story begins as a twenty-one year old loser with an alcohol problem contemplating suicide. He goes on to candidly share the events that led to divorce and remarriage. He describes how he surrendered to preach the Gospel. He relates the experiences behind a decision to adopt a Chinese orphan, of losing his wife to breast cancer, and of later finding love again.
In my review I have tried to go beyond the information shown on the back cover of the book to alert the potential reader that much of the story leads up to the highlights of his ministry on Death Row. For other readers, the subtitle “Faith Chronicles of a Texas Death Row Chaplain” may lead to similar expectations.
Rick tells of his experiences as a Chaplain ministering to condemned men on Death Row at the Polunsky Unit of aTexasprison. He details the events that led to his being made a scapegoat by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in their effort to place blame on him for an embarrassing death threat against a Texas State Senator which was posted on the internet.
I personally was drawn intoAnderson’s narrative right from the beginning. The prologue beautifully explains the basis of the title “God’s Feet Are In My Sandbox.” I also was very impressed with the wayAndersonintroduced encouraging words from the Psalms and other selected scripture passages that added spiritual insight and encouragement, promise, and inspiration to the incidents of the preceding narrative.
Many readers will appreciate the clarity with whichAndersonpresents the Gospel message. Other readers may be looking for more detailed insight into the role, duties, and policies applicable to prison chaplaincy. Anderson draws attention to on going discipline practices often prevalent behind the scenes in the prison environment, of the need for prison reform, restorative justice, and into the ongoing debate regarding the death penalty.
I have been moved again to re-examine God’s involvement in the “Sand Box” of my life.