When I picked this book up and read the recommendations it did make me slightly apprehensive about reviewing it. Especially when the Archbishop said it was "like Augustine's Confessions". So it was a happy surprise to find this a really good read. I took the holiday period to finish reading it. This isn't a lite read and neither is it a hard read, it is a window on one man's life and at times you want to look away.
It isn't a rant or a preach telling you how you should live life or a guilt trip of the life of a saint which you cannot hope to live up to, instead it is an honest testimony of how someone who had to live with an alcoholic who became an alcoholic themselves saw his life turned around by the love of God.
Even though my life and Ian's are separated by the Atlantic and several decades in age, he paints pictures which touch my own experiences of growing up in a "cheesy" youth group. The same emphasis on people and relationships rather than cutting edge events and I like the way Ian painted pictures of his life. The last book which made me well up was "Contemplative-Youth-Ministry" I read that probably 6 years ago this one had the same reaction for a differnet reason. As I read Ian's story my heart broke to hear the suffering that he went through in growing up. I could feel myself asking the same questions and ranting at God for other children today with parents who are drug addicts or alcoholics.
My other reaction was one of thankfulness, that I had the privilege of growing up with two parents who loved me and encouraged me in my walk with God, something I used to think meant my testimony was pretty poor not having done drugs or bad made good. But now I see this as the grace of God, testimony is more about God's work than our own.
I have taken this holiday period to read less demanding books (that will change this week) but this has been an unexpected gem. heartily recommend it, as neither some preachy piece of propaganda which smooths over the rough edges of life or a bt thitter rant at what life could have been.
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