Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead
From the author of the acclaimed TAKE THIS BREAD,
a new account of faith that Publishers Weekly calls "moving, compelling, provocative."
Rob Bell calls JESUS FREAK "one of the most inspiring books I've ever read."
Annie Lamott says "Sara Miles is amazing, a wild, unique, funny Christian."
Brian McLaren calls the book "beautiful, joyful, raucous, reverent."
Buy JESUS FREAK now, from Amazon.
From the Introduction to Jesus Freak:
It might be comforting, to those Christians who doubt the current indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our damaged, compromised selves, to tell ourselves our failures are because Jesus is now far, far away.
It might be reassuring, to those tired of dealing with our violent, scary or just unpleasant neighbors, to think that we can worship God by turning our backs on them. That we can’t do much anymore about our lives, or the lives of other people, except gaze at the sky and pray to a disembodied spirit. That Jesus was alive once, and we remember him fondly, but now we’re left with nothing more powerful than plastic crosses, Christian rock bands, and church committees. With Jesus safely tucked away in heaven, we’re off the hook.
But he’s still breathing in us.
I was standing at the bus stop across from the church one Friday, as the food pantry was winding down, talking with Miss Lola Brown. A tiny, elderly black lady with sensible shoes and bent, arthritic hands, she was shaking her head in despair because she didn’t know how to get her groceries across town to her apartment. “I can’t even lift this,” she said, pointing to the teetering shopping cart, filled to overflowing with potatoes, cans of beans and some exuberant heads of lettuce.
I was exasperated. I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have money to give her for a cab. I had to be somewhere else in a little while. I looked at the man standing next to us, a big, quite psychotic white guy, a ranter, who’d also just been at the pantry. “OK, we’ll help you,” I said, not very nicely. I had no idea how. And then the bus pulled up, and the man shuffled forward, muttering, and the two of us lugged her cart on board.
Miss Brown smiled and raised her hand to heaven. “I know,” she testified. “I know the Lord will always send me help.”
I told that to my wife when I got home, and Martha rolled her eyes. “Couldn’t the Lord send her a taxi at least, if he’s got all that power to help?” she asked. “Instead of a crazy guy and some feeble middle-aged lady, and she’s still got to take the 22 Fillmore for an hour?”
“Nah,” I said. “Jesus has a sense of humor. He just sends us.”
Like most people, I have an ambivalent relationship to power. I want it and I’m scared of it. I think I couldn’t possibly use it well, and I know others can’t. Why should humans receive the power of the Spirit? Isn’t that what God’s for?
But Jesus is right here with me and the crazy guy: the lowly and unprepared, as the prophets foretold. Among the weak, faithless, and doubting, as his disciples proved, then and now. He doesn’t look for the most “religious,” the most doctrinally correct, or, for that matter, the smartest of his beloved people to build his Kingdom, but hands over authority to anyone willing to suspend self-doubt, and simply trust Jesus’ faith in us.
There is no other authority on earth we have to wait for; no permission we need to act on his words. All it takes to be a Jesus freak is to follow him.
Praise for Jesus Freak:
"Sara Miles is amazing, a wild, unique, funny Christian who puts her lack-of-money where her mouth is, which is in loving Jesus and taking care of God's children. I love her work."
Anne Lamott, author, Traveling Mercies and Grace, Eventually
"One of the most inspiring books I've ever read."
Rob Bell, author, Velvet Elvis; pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church
"This is a love story: unabashedly, a love story between one woman and Jesus. It is also the toughest, tenderest, most textured, poignant, and substantial love story I have ever read."
Phyllis Tickle, author, The Great Emergence and The Words of Jesus
"Sara Miles writes gorgeous prose. She's way too wound-up for toned-down liberals, and way too out-of-the-shrink-wrap for straight-laced conservatives, and she calls both to a new vantage point. She has actually experienced something, and Someone, and by hearing her story, you start to catch what she's caught: which includes a sense of being caught, and caught up, and fed, and empowered to feed others. A beautiful, joyful, raucous, reverent book."
Brian McLaren, author/speaker
“Oh, what a wonderful book! Its exciting and dynamic Christianity would have put me completely to shame were it not for the glowing warm-heartedness with which Sara encourages us into the faith life, the Church, of the future. Instead of shaming us it offers a witness at once solid and tantalizing of what it is to be hooked into the Gospel."
James Alison, Catholic theologian, author of Faith Beyond Resentment
"When Jesus calls, Sara Miles follows him into the beautiful and messy diversity of human life, where people long to be fed, healed, and forgiven, and discovers the vibrancy of Christian faith that often eludes the institutional church. If this is what it means to be a 'Jesus freak,' sign me up!"
Diana Butler Bass, author, A People's History of Christianity
"Sara Miles took Jesus seriously when he declared 'whosoever will, may come,' and translated it into action...This is a passionate book!"
Tony Campolo, professor emeritus, Eastern University
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