Year of Our Lord by T.R. Pearson is an intensely human story. It follows the life of Lucas McCarty, a twenty-two-year-old dealing with the fact that he was born with cripplingly cerebral palsy. He can’t walk properly, drools almost constantly, and can’t speak. He’s far from normal. Yet, he’s extraordinary: Lucas McCarty refused to be halted by his flawed body and his determination is unstoppable. Through the technology of Minspeak, a machine designed to give voice to those afflicted with cerebral palsy, Lucas has become a public “speaker.” He sings in the choir of the Mississippi church he attends. He examines vacuum cleaners in his spare time. He loves to argue points of theology with anyone brave enough to challenge him. Sometimes, on a whim, he gambles a little with the money he’s earned at his job—just for fun, and never enough to wound him financially. He’s not just a boy in a chair.
Behind the story of Lucas McCarty, pulsing like a jazz drum beat, is the story of the Mississippi Delta, with all its marsh, and mess, and gorgeous watercolor solemnity. Captured by the artful photography of Langdon Clay and Pearson’s evocative prose, the Delta becomes, suddenly, a marvel: the stirring backdrop for Lucas’s triumphant story.
Year of Our Lord opens with the poignant words: “Light rises in the darkness for the upright” (Psalm 112:4). The line fits: this is a story about burgeoning light where, once, darkness stifled all. Lucas McCarty’s life—his determination to live, rather than simply exist—is a sunburst, a firework, and elegantly described by a masterful writer. – Chandler Birch, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Lucas McCarty lives in the Mississippi Delta. He is the only white congregant in the African-American Trinity House of Prayer Holiness church. Lucas is bereft of the ability to speak due to cerebral palsy, yet he sings there in the church choir. Thus is the subject of Year of Our Lord, a portrait of courage, acceptance and grace, rendered in the lyrical prose of T.R. Pearson and the haunting photographs of Langdon Clay.
Year of Our Lord is a visual journey, exploring one of the poorest parts of the American South, a place that economic progress has left behind. And it is a spiritual journey, a revelation of a community that has replaced the hope for earthly prosperity with an abundance of faith in God and the life beyond. The Delta’s is a culture that can look upon Lucas and say, “God doesn’t make a mistake.” It is a place that in the face of abject poverty can proclaim, life offers “too much joy!” Year of Our Lord, then, is an opportunity to see into another’s world, and to embrace the best of it.