“A small bird flew overhead and landed atop one of the army trucks. It opened its beak and began to sing a song of springtime, its voice sweet, clear and free. Samson stared at the bird long enough to burn an image of it into his mind, a picture of freedom that he would hold onto.”
A 1936 Olympic Boxer
Samson: A Saviour Will Rise is based on true stories, woven together by Shawn Hoffman in a novel of historical fiction that is hard to put down and harder to forget.
Samson Abrams, a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp encounters men like Dr. Josef Mengele – “the Angel of Death,” Commandant Rudolph Hoss and a Polish Catholic priest, Maximilian Kolbe.
During World War II, male Jewish prisoners were forced to box on Saturday night for Nazi entertainment. The winner got extra food. The loser went to the gas chambers. Samson, a 1936 Olympic boxer, became one of those fighters.
7 Lessons About Freedom
1. The last freedom is the ability to choose one’s attitude in the face of any circumstance. Even when it seems as though everything has been taken away from us, we retain ultimate power – we can choose our attitude to face our circumstances.
2. I have a free will to live the best I can. I can choose to act atrociously or altruistically. A Nazi commandant’s barbarism and a Catholic priest’s benevolence were free choices. “We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.” Joseph Epstein
3. No prison can hold a person who sustains their freedom to dream. All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about temporal or eternal things, and what we do to make them come about.
4. One question haunts Samson as he and his family face one atrocity after another: “Where is God in the face of such evil?” The book reminds us that good always arises to triumph over evil. The good may pale in comparison to the magnitude of evil, but it’s evidence that love is stronger than fear and hope is stronger than death.
5. Purpose is the great liberator. Samson’s purpose was to live to see his family become free. Every beating was endured with that purpose in mind. It is beyond imagination what a person can endure when committed to a purpose greater than their own comfort and happiness. Purpose turns suffering into sacrifice.
6. Unexpected friendships can inspire us to rekindle what little may be left of our faith, hope or love. A Polish priest, Maximilian Kolbe, inspired Samson with his compassion and faith. He tells Samson, “If a man’s spirit is in communion with God, he is free no matter what type of infirmary his body lies in. When the Son has set you free, you are free indeed.”
7. The free must not become a prisoner of their freedom. “Samson” is a great read – 5 out of 5 as a page turner – its an even better reminder. I read the book and wrote this review as a way to remind myself and my readers of the responsibility of freedom – to keep ourselves from a self-made prison of ingratitude and pridefulness and live free to believe, dream and serve.
I was given a copy of Samson by Booksneeze to review.
APPLICATION: Which statement is your favorite? Please a comment below.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
- Subscribe. I’ll put helpful content into your email box on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as upcoming events at North Pointe Community Church, Edmonton, Alberta.
- Follow on Twitter. I daily tweet info I think you’ll be interested in.
- Friend on Facebook. If you “like” my page, let me know you found me here.
- Connect on Linkedin. I like this because it reminds me what people think I’m good at.