Conversion for Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas happened while sitting on a curb crying. And not just crying but also, to his shock, praying about his alcohol and nicotine addictions and his newly diagnosed throat cancer.
â€œAnd suddenly,â€ he writes in his compelling new book, Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith (St. Martinâ€™s Press; 2008), â€œmy heart stilled. My nerve endings stopped torturing me. I stopped trembling and twitching. â€¦ Something happened to me on that hellish muggy day â€¦ I was saved.â€
Itâ€™s been more than seven years since then, but recently when I spoke by phone to Joe â€” creator of such sex-and-violence movies as â€œBasic Instinctâ€ and â€œJagged Edgeâ€ â€” it was clear his spiritual transformation wasnâ€™t just a passing phase.
â€œThere is a spirit in me that Iâ€™d never felt before,â€ he told me. â€œGod opened up this formerly crusty, cynical heart.â€ Joe, his wife and children now are active members of a small Catholic church in a Cleveland suburb.