Faith-based memoir, The Viewfinder: Michael’s Story released by Washington Park native

Published 12:18 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

By bgracious at Fiverr

Washington, NC – The year is 1985, and a college tennis player leaves an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie set after playing a transvestite in the film “Raw Deal.” Moments later, his car is T-boned, and his neck is instantly broken. Paralyzed waiting for help, suspended between disbelief and unconsciousness, he sees something odd. Vibrant 3D images from his life play through what can only be described as a child’s View-Master. In the quiet, each image depicts an experience he can feel. A spiritual intervention with its eye on the prize is underway as lessons about faith, empathy, and overcoming adversity become a part of his recovery. Michael J. Bowen will use his months in rehab to become a “walking” quadriplegic who overcomes a resulting addiction to Demerol. On a date with destiny, by 1989, he will bicycle his way throughout the US sharing his story with other patients facing the same challenges. This is the story found in the newly released faith-based inspirational memoir written by a homespun hero. It’s entitled “The Viewfinder: Michael’s Story.”

Bowen quantifies his experience something like this. He says his book is “…at its core, about allowing the Holy Spirit to transform the human spirit.” He says his Christian faith has defined his life countless times as a living testament to what a passionate belief in God can accomplish. His story has encouraged people of all ages, genders, and races to fully embrace God’s plan and live more meaningful lives than they ever thought possible.

He adds, “Ninety-four days after my accident, wearing a halo and leg braces, I walked out of the Pitt Memorial Rehab Center with residual paralysis on full display and a quest to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.”

“I prayed a life-or-death prayer on a December night in 1985. With my willingness, that prayer turned into purpose. It all started with fulfilling a dream he had in rehab while still paralyzed–to bicycle across the country, visiting every major rehabilitation center in America,” Bowen continues.

“It was this overwhelming feeling of empathy for other patients that lead me to visit rehab hospitals and encourage others to never give up.” From 1986 to 1991, Bowen would take three trips across the country representing the Ride To Recovery Organization to improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries. His efforts helped support this organization as they raised money on behalf of the National Spinal Cord Association for spinal cord injury research.

Bowen says another significant part of fulfilling God’s purpose was to become a physical education teacher. For 33 years he taught at a middle school for underprivileged kids, and today he still coaches high school tennis.

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