Amazing Grace – Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption at The Caring Place is a compilation of first-hand accounts from neighbors of The Caring Place, written by Gary L. Riggins and Jason DeHart. Once frequent volunteers of The Caring Place, Riggins and DeHart were inspired to share these stories, and thus wrote and donated this book to The Caring Place.
“These first-person accounts of real life up close- warts and all- are full of ordinary events punctuated with breathtaking joy and sometimes heartbreaking sadness. Like mine, our brothers’ and sisters’ lives are generally wound around a few major themes. For the purposes of this book, we’ve settled on three – stories of love, loss, and redemption.”
-Gary L. Riggins Preface
Within this book you will find 20 chapters, 20 unique stories, from neighbors at The Caring Place. Each one is diverse in background, circumstance, and outcome, but all deal with the themes of Love, Loss, and Redemption. You won’t want to miss out on these heart-warming testimonials that will truly move you.
Dr. Gary Riggins and Jason DeHart do not write about The Caring Place as disinterested individuals and writers who are simply doing another assignment. They write because they care for each person whom they served as a volunteer at The Caring Place. As a college teacher, Gary has not forgotten his roots or the scriptural admonition to care for the economically and socially struggling “strangers” we meet. Jason still connects to his roots of ministry in his role of service. They do so with unfailing good humor, valuing the humanity of everyone they meet. They’re the real deal!
– Darlia Conn, TCP Board Member 2011-2017
In each chapter, each story, the book divides the individuals life story into three sections, showing how they had love, loss, and redemption, and how The Caring Place played a part in this story. In Chapter 3, Ramblin’ Man, about one of our close neighbors, Riggins and DeHart dive into his upbringing, and his hardships, but let us into his current situation in the last section of Redemption.
“The series of small miracles over the course of Don’s fifty years have kept this “ramblin’ man” alive and helped him better understand and appreciate a fundamental truth of redemption. The grace he experienced is an expressive, mysterious gift that can neither be bought or deserved. In Don’s case, as in most, it was regularly delivered by God’s messengers – imperfect flawed human beings – right on time and benefiting those who received it and those who delivered it”
In the introduction they write:
“Our stories matter. They are the carrying cases for the fundamental truths that help us make sense of our existence. […] Embedded in the personal stories in this book are life lessons that can help us make better sense of our purpose and perhaps be some comfort to fellow pilgrims seeking company along the way. Listening to another’s story of life is critical. At stake may be a better understanding of the world and our place in it.”