TITLE: Midnight Jesus: Where Struggle, Faith, and Grace Collide . . .
AUTHOR: Jamie Blaine
PUBLISHER: Nashville, TN: Thomas-Nelson, 2015, (298 pages).
He learn about dealing with alcoholics where the common wisdom is to include buying them some alcohol when they have withdrawal symptoms. He meets lots of people who are bipolar, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, sexually and drug addicted, and so on, even trying to bring some of them to church. He tells several stories of his time with the megachurches, and his meetings with various preachers. One such meeting was a preacher who showed up at the psych ward, drunk and desperate. It made him ponder about the kinds of people God sent Jesus to die for. He reflects on how Jesus' first disciples are not exactly the cream of the crop. He got hired by a megachurch to work in the crisis counseling department where his main task was to listen and not judge. There was even a time where he was jailed for creating a ruckus to blow off steam and stress.
The author is multi-talented and has worked in different environments that few people dared to venture into. Not only is he a licensed psychotherapist, he is also an avid skater and creative writer, having contributed articles for Salon, OnFaith, and so on. He is also a music enthusiast, writing for publications like Bass Guitar, Drummer UK, and Ultimate Classic Rock.
This is a unique book of stories from unique places. The situations described range from bizarre meetings to hilarious moments. The common theme is a listener who is interested to let people be who they are without the need for pretense. I read this book wrapped with marvel and curiosity because Blaine is doing something that very few Christians dared to even think about doing. Far too often, I've heard Christians talk about helping the poor, the marginalized, the down, and the almost out. In this book, I see it all put into action. In fact, the stories are already testimonies of how Blaine shines for Jesus as a listening ear rather than a judgmental finger. This is something Christians need to do more and more. Perhaps, the one best thing we can learn from the experiences of Blaine is this: Be a better and more honest listener.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of Thomas-Nelson in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.