Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Permission To Speak Freely

Permission To Speak Freely
Author: Anne Jackson

As a reader of Anne Jackson's blog, www.flowerdust.net, I had heard of this book, but did not know much about it. I had expected it to be a collection of people's confessions based on her timeless post in which she asked her readers "What do you feel you can not say in church?"... I assumed it would be a book perhaps a la "Post Secrets" style, but it was so much more.

In true Anne Jackson style, this book combined a beautifully written, transparent and honest autobiography with the purpose of examining what went wrong, and what we, as a church, are called to be to one another. The truth spoken in the pages of this book, along with the impact of the colorful, poignant artwork sent in by contributors, remind us in a very real way that we're not alone in our struggles, that we all have a responsibility to love one another with Christian love, and that there is healing in shedding light into darkness by not only speaking up, but by allowing (and encouraging) others to do so. It helped illustrate how crucial confession and forgiveness is in life.

I appreciated that the author went outside the typical "autobiography box". This wasn't an "all about me" soapbox, it was written in a refreshingly unique and inspiring way, with the focus and purpose being knowledge, insight and wisdom. Quite fitting that a book about speaking up and speaking freely also thoughtfully and respectfully included the opportunity for others to speak up freely too.

As an abuse survivor, this book really resonated with me. I feel an even stronger calling to help His church become a safe haven for those outside the "slightly broken" category. After all, in Jesus' time on earth, who did He spend time with the most? Those who were perfect and unstained? How many times did He show us that He had a special place in His heart for the completely broken, the unloved, unwanted, the "least of these", and yet we're still missing His example. Where are we, His hands and feet, when it comes to reaching out to the lost and the broken, and loving them with His love?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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