I enjoy a good children’s book. That’s why I picked up “Halfway Herbert” by Francis Chan when I saw it available online. The book has stunning graphics and a pretty good story line. Halfway Herbert is known for doing things halfway. Herbert brushes his teeth, doesn’t finish his food, and approaches his schoolwork, all halfway. My daughter especially loved the page where it shows a shot looking out of Herbert’s mouth at the dentist with the top row of teeth perfectly clean while the bottom half are green and cracked and have green leaves sticking out of various cracks.
This halfway approach to life lands Herbert in trouble after he crashes into his dad’s car and then tells a “half truth.” He is quickly found out by his dad (thanks to an observant neighbor) and informed that telling a “half truth is a whole lie.” Herbert’s dad shares one of Jesus’ stories about a man building a tower who counts the cost ahead of time and plans to finish it all the way, instead of halfway. Herbert honestly tells his father that he doesn’t know if he is capable of doing things all the way. He is encouraged to ask God’s Spirit for help.
I used this book for the middle school youth group last Wednesday. It was a good illustration of the book of Joshua (and intro into Judges), where the Israelites are obeying God only halfway some of the time. Our saying for Joshua is: “some good, some bad.” I think God had bigger plans for his people, and he does for us as well.
“Halfway Herbert” is a good read and a worthy book to have on your bookshelf at home.