Thursday, January 14, 2016

Midnight Jesus by Jamie Blaine

I chose to read this book.

I was drawn in by the author's blurb mentioning crisis intervention - a field I once pursued before prejudice kicked me out.

I was drawn in by the lure of stories, of humanity in a nutshell and yet still more complex and vast for our labels to ever hold.

I was drawn in by the title because midnight has always been a time that's dear to me, a time when I wrestle with faith and life, and to be honest most of this book was read around this hour.

When I read this book I found all that and more.

Midnight Jesus reads as a memoir in some ways, a collection of stories from those we would deem "the least". Yet, in these every day encounters in roller rinks and bike paths to the life and death questions being asked in courtyards in the dead of night Blaine brings readers to a place where faith and struggle coexist, where questions are okay and often unanswered in the messiness of life, and where Jesus is there in the midst of it all walking (or riding shotgun) through each moment.

Blaine is truly a gifted author. His ability to paint images and capture humanity was incredible and I often found myself poking my husband to read his sections that had to be read aloud (although I'm thinking I probably just read a lot to my sleeping or falling asleep husband, oops). His words aren't preachy yet they instill truth. 

There is human sorrow painted through these chapters, people who are lost and desperate but, like in life, there is humour and joy. I enjoy books like that because life is often a balance (or maybe a pendulum) of this.

Midnight Jesus is a book that should challenge ones preconceptions, confront our ideas about "the other", about the need and the right to question, to challenge. and our tendency to box up the gospel into a nice, tidy box. If nothing else, this book is a glimpse into the power of listening and the power of presence.

5 out  of 5 stars 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”