Crazy Love – a book review

I picked up Crazy Love, by Francis Chan, almost two years ago.  It was a time of great transition and great trial.  I tried to read it but couldn’t really read anything at the time.  It was a survival-mode season.

Around Christmas last year I picked it up again finally.  I dug right in and read a couple of chapters.  It felt like a friend had written it to me, it was so readable – and it made me ask some great questions.

Then I got to the chapter called “Profile of the Lukewarm”.  Just the name of the chapter made my heart sink.  I knew what was coming.  Or I thought I did.  But I didn’t.  I read it.  Read it again.  Then I put the book away.

Reading Chan’s long and spot on list of all the characteristics of ‘lukewarm’ left me feeling sick.  Honest.  It described most of the ‘church going folk’ I’d ever known.  What was far worse?  It described me.  Of course not in every instance and I could rationalize all I wanted to make myself feel better.  But I didn’t want to feel better.  That’s why I’d picked up the book in the first place. I wanted my thinking to be challenged…to be changed really.

In the last year and a half, stepping out of full time ministry and also out of regular church attendance (gasp!) I have spent so much time in some serious, sometimes very uncomfortable reflection on God and church and what it really means to follow Jesus.  Growing up in church then serving in a church setting for ten years, I had plenty of exposure to all sorts of ‘religion’.  Much of it was life-shaping and very good.  And of course there was your run-of-the-mill hypocrisy and church politics.

After I stalled out on my Crazy Love reading (I quit reading the book for two months!), I tried again.  But I was not the same.  I had wrestled and argued and thought through some really hard things.  If you read my blog and know our story, this of course coincided with the very tragic loss of my husband’s father this January.

I was ripe for a crisis of faith.

And maybe that sounds bad, which is okay with me.  But really, if we never have a crisis, never question what we believe, never look inward and take some serious inventory…then maybe we don’t even know what we believe or why.  When we are shaken to the core, we are forced to find out what we really hold on to – who we hold on to.  And if it will keep us afloat or not.

God’s overwhelming, relentless love that this book speaks of, that love is the only thing that has carried me through this past season and every other desert I’ve walked through.  It has shown itself in hundreds of ways.  God’s unmistakable, unwavering love.

Comments

brigitte

Karissa, I once again so appreciate your honesty in sharing your heart. Thank you for this post…and I’ll be looking for the book.

Aundrea

Love this book! I too have read it with some real “in my face” convictions. He does an amazing job of getting the reader to really question where our hearts truly reside. Thanks for your honesty in this post- you are a gifted writer 🙂

Kristin

LOVE the new photo! How did you get such an adorable photo of all FOUR??? Heart-melting. Still haven’t made it through that book. Thank you for sharing about his amazing love.

klstrovas

That was the last of about 25 shots on that log! We were just about the leave the beach and I asked if they would indulge me in a few minutes of smiles. They did. It was so fun!!!

mom

Love that new photo. A hardy “yes” to the troubling questions his book stirred in my heart and life. It is a rare person who can do that in a positive way from a place of clearly loving God’s people and His church. It has had a profound effect on me and how I am following Jesus. Still processing…

Scott Ross

Strovas Fam…

Love you and miss you tons. You are doing an amazing job and I’m so proud of you. I think of you often, mostly with joy, but occassionally with sadness that our paths have taken us different directions. Keep moving forward in love.

Scott Ross