The father Nathan Foster finds at 14,000 feet is none other than Richard J. Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline and other titles on spiritual formation. It turns out that Richard wasn’t much of a father in Nathan’s early years, at least not from his son’s point of view. He was “a serious, silent ghost.” In rebellion, Nathan started smoking, dabbled in drugs and alcohol, dropped out of school, and otherwise made bad decisions. But when, in his early 20s, Nathan challenged Richard to climb Colorado’s fourteeners with him (i.e., mountains of 14,000 feet elevation or more), they healed old wounds and forged new ties. It’s unclear from the narrative whether Richard changed or whether Nathan gained a new perspective on his dad or both. Whatever the case, this is a powerful story of a son making peace with his father and becoming a better man himself in the process. It was so engrossing a read that I read it in one sitting. I recommend this book highly, especially to fathers and sons who don’t know what to do with one another.
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