The Wind in the Wheat

by Reed Arvin

Written by an "insider" in the Christian Music world, Arvin writes with authenticity on the harsh realities on what is normally portrayed as a squeaky clean land of holiness and ministry. Andrew Miracle, the main character is most likely based on Rich Mullins, for whom Arvin acted as producer for a number of years. The circumstances and the person the music industry tried to make him into seems mostly based on Michael W. Smith, though Smith doesn't have the golden voice of the main character.

Singing in a small church in the middle of Kansas, Andrew Miracle gives himself over completely to the music and to God, resulting in raw, electric music that touches all who hear. He is "discovered" after his well-meaning pastor pulls some strings to get an old friend to visit who is in the music industry. Wanting to be used by God, Andrew naively goes along with everything this insider asks, signing unfair contracts without reading them, getting a makeover, being portrayed as someone he is not, as image instead of a person. Living this lie eventually brings Miracle to the point of realization and he returns to the farm in Kansas, realizing that there is more ministry in playing an out-of-tune piano at an old folks home than there is in playing to 30,000 under the glare of spotlights and 10,000 watt sound systems.

Arvin has created full, believable characters, painting the "bad guys" as they really exist: well-meaning but compromising on issues for what they believe to be the bigger good. True to life, they never learn that the end does not justify the means. I highly recommend this book to those "in the ministry" and those who believe that their small work in this life is not equal to those in the spotlight.