If you’ve been following the blog recently, you know that my focus for 2017 is loving well. Last week, I wrote a blog post announcing the launch of the 365 Love Well Project — a year-long journey I created to help myself and others learn to love God, others and ourselves well.
Shortly after I felt God nudging me to do the #365LoveWellProject back in early January, a book publicist emailed me, asking if I’d review a new title that was coming out. As a Christian writer and speaker I have helped launch and write reviews for many faith books, so this did not seem too out of the ordinary for me. That was, until I read about the book I’d be reviewing.
John Hambrick’s Move Toward the Mess is a book about loving well and being the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that can otherwise be boring, routine and entirely self-serving. It’s the kind of book every Christian needs to read, but it’s especially the kind of book I needed to read as I began the 365 Love Well Project.
While reading Move Toward the Mess, I was deeply moved by John’s passion and dedication to the Great Commission and Jesus’ command to fiercely love others. John is committed to living for the cause of Christ. That means he’s committed to entering the messiness of this world, just like Jesus did. From inviting strangers and neighbors over for dinner, to getting to know the poor and marginalized, or even befriending prostitutes and addicts, John is not afraid to follow where Jesus leads. And he encourages the rest of us to do the same.
This is our chance to leave boring faith behind and embrace a different kind of life — the one we were meant to live.
“We have a chance to live as Jesus did,” John writes. “You and I might never be involved in commanding the wind to stop. But we could be involved in building houses for homeless people to protect them from the wind. We might never raise someone from the dead. But we might be able to help someone’s dead marriage come back to life. We might need more than five loaves and two fish to feed people. But we can still feed people in Jesus’ name.”
Wow guys. Talk about some pretty powerful stuff! John is so right about this one. We have a chance to live as Jesus did. But do we take that chance seriously? If you’re like most people — myself included — chances are you’d rather stay in your comfort zone where things are easier and safe.
Wherever you are in your faith journey, Move Toward the Mess will make you want to run straight out of your comfort zone and into the dark places that need Jesus.
This book is a breath of fresh air. I feel motivated to keep the 365 Love Well Project going for the rest of my life. I feel compelled to seek out the mess. My soul is filled with a new refreshment and excitement to go out and be the Positively Lovely daughter God created me to be. When I read it, I don’t feel like I’m being lectured or told what to do. Instead I feel inspired and challenged to enter into the dark places of this world. It’s what Jesus would do, and as his followers, it’s what we should do, too.
Move Toward the Mess is what the church needs right now. For those who feel bored or stuck in their faith; for those who desperately want to love others well; for those who might have given up on church entirely. This book is for you. This book is for all of us.
Interested in learning more about the 365 Love Well Project? Join me here.
With this in mind, what would it look like for you as a Christian to live in a way that is engaging and memorable? We all hear Christians talking about making a difference, but sometimes it takes more than talk — it takes action. What sort of difference would you like to make in this world?