This is a review for Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson.
So I love reading different things. Anne Jackson is an author that I just can’t get enough of. She writes in a way that draws me into the story. I read this book in two days. I couldn’t put it down. I absolutely love the way that she crafts stories. I tracked on her blog when she asked the question:
“What is the one thing you feel you can’t say in church?”
I grew up in church. I love the church. But, I had some things that I always wanted to say as a teenager. I had some stuff that I still want to say today. But honestly I feel like I can’t. Especially in a world of limited accountability like an online space, where people say things just to get noticed, not really to see change happen.
But Anne pursued this further than asking the question. She sought to tell her story of how the church caused her some pain and some hurt. I think we can all agree with her on that point. The depth of my pain isn’t comparable to Anne’s or most, but I do deal with some of those hurts everyday. The lack of diversity, the lack of compassion, the lack of commitment are all things that I saw growing up in the church and I really became disheartened by as a high school student.
My thoughts: it’s gritty, it’s real, it is a bit rough. But it’s needed. The thought that I continue to think about is how the church moved from a place of sanctuary for people that could find pardon for their sin towards a place where people don’t feel accepted or loved and instead feel judged and unwelcome because of their lifestyle.
Lifestyles haven’t changed all that much in my opinion but the way that we react and act towards others has changed. You can place blame wherever you like, what you can’t do is read this book and not take responsibility. It will cause you to look inside at the hurt and find healing and it will also cause you to look (if you work at a church like me) at how you are contributing or working to change the feeling that others associate with the church.
Great, Great book. Loved it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”