So, here’s the deal. I’m moderately obsessed with Jen Hatmaker and when she started an email newsletter, I signed up as soon as I heard. Then, when she emailed for bloggers to send in some info for the opportunity to review her book Interrupted, I got my email in quickly. Because I wanted her book (for free!) and I wanted to read it. And I wanted to write about it. But I wasn’t planning on having my comfy Christianity wrecked. Yes, there would be some “feel goods” and maybe a hint of conviction here and there, but no wrecking. Absolutely no wrecking.
That was quickly an idea I knew that God was laughing at when I read Jen’s prayer: Raise up in me a holy passion and then prayed it for myself.
Um, I was crying and underlining and highlighting while reading the foreword. The FOREWARD, people. I knew my plan to not be wrecked was straight out the window. There was a part of me that wanted to just put the book down. Did I really want my comfortable life wrecked? I was a little afraid of what God might ask of me…or point out to me…or convict in me. But I kept reading.
Aside from my Bible, there is no book I own that has so many notes in the margins, underlining, highlighting, circling and tear stains. Friends, I’ll tell you now. If you like the cozy American Christian life and want to just stay the course, don’t even pick up this book. If you think the American church has it all figured out and is the standard (or should be) for the rest of the world, this book isn’t for you. If you don’t want your happy bubble popped, just don’t even read my blog. Seriously.
But if you feel like you might be missing something…that as much as you’re fed through church sermons, Bible studies, activities and church life, yet you’re still never really full…THIS IS FOR YOU. When I read the following, I completely lost it. This is where I’ve been for a really long time. And this is when I knew, beyond any doubt, that this book was for me, right now.
“I had gorged myself on all the products of the Christian industrial complex but was spiritually starving to death. I was marked by an over consumption but malnourished spiritually, suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God.”
I know God. I see him show up in my life, in my family, for my friends. I don’t doubt Him. I have relationship with Him. But I’m over-churched and completely malnourished spiritually. There are moments where I’m full, but not consistently. Not the way it could be. Or should be.
In this book, there are eye-opening and heart wrenching facts about our country and our world that will rattle you at your core. And should ignite a fire in you. There are methodologies that challenge the legalist in anyone. And, for me, there was such a fresh, new understanding of Scriptures I’ve read my entire life.
And there was also the gut punching conviction that I’ve placed way to much of the responsibility for my spiritual nourishment on my church leaders. Because when you know something is missing spiritually, that ugly human reaction is to blame someone else.
There have been stirrings in my spirit in recent years that this book put into words. And there has been a sense of solidarity forged in my heart that LOVE is what we should lead with. Not judgement, not condemnation, not even opinion. Just love. Lead with love.
Folks, there are conversations that God & I have had through this that have reached the most intimate places in my heart. I’m done reading the book, but God is definitely not done with me. I could write a book on just my takeaways from this book.
I told a friend last week that I didn’t think I could “review” this book. You can’t review something that has such a deep reach into your heart. But, friends, I can tell you this: If you want to experience God in a new way, if you want to have a fresh set of eyes on often heard Scripture, if you’re willing to have your comfortable bubble wrecked, then this book is for you.
Have you been Interrupted? I’d love to hear your stories. And create a little community for us to pray together as we discover what God wants to do with our interruptions.