Hide your quirks and you're a Volvo."
-Josh James Riebock
So, it was out of my character to grab this book off the shelf and my local Barnes & Noble. Sometimes things work out well this way.
Give me grace, because I don't like to write reviews. And I don't like writing reviews for one simple reason: I'm not a critic.
I'd rather create than criticize, build rather than destroy. So I'll just say this: I loved this book.
What drew me to this book is simple. I'm drawn to the contradictions we see in life. Where life lies in tension between two truths. The dazzling truths that lie in the balance. And that's what this book is about.
While it is an spiritual memoir, it's an honest one. One that doesn't shy away from truths that are considered ugly. Looking full on at the Hero that lies inside of a man as well as the Monster. All the while God soaks into the cracks drawing His beloved. A God that isn't controlling or needy. A God that isn't insecure. A patient God that knows the truth, that He will win His love in the end. A God that's not blind to all that is wrong in his creation, but is patient and loving enough to wait for us. A God that is for some reason named Jack.
This is a brilliant move by the author, although others may decry this as irreverent. Renaming God as Jack it makes us think of someone we could actually have a relationship with. Someone that's interested in our lives, not a far off nameless deity.
Also my grandfather who would tell me stories and taught me the love of story telling was named Jack.
Why I love this book can be summed up in this one paragraph from the first chapter:
I hope for and the other world of nothing I want. This world, Jack says, is the merging of wonder and horror, of twisted and beautiful, comedy and tragedy, a place where both exist and mingle every day. He says that this world is part heaven and part hell, and that every second, inside of me and out, I'm standing at the convergence of the two, at the corner of damned and devine."