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.