Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker

Oh man, this will make you think. Or at least, it should.
This is the first I’ve read from Jen Hatmaker. To be honest, I read it with a little reservation. Not only was I hesitant to ingest Jen’s message (a journey of releasing security, comfort, familiarity, and possessions for a radical lifestyle shift of feeding Jesus’ sheep) but I wasn’t sure what I even thought of this author. I’d been on Jen’s blog before, not within the past couple of years, and her writing voice seemed just a little too sarcastic and dry. Or something.

I don’t know exactly what’s changed (perhaps a judgmental first impression??), but I’m pretty taken with this gal. She’s still sarcastic and dry, but also double-over hilarious. This might be the only serious, in-your-face, challenging book I’ve read that also made me weep from laughing so hard. I really, really like her writing, her personality, and I appreciate the challenge her story presents.

It’s too early to say how Interrupted has changed me. Too early as I’m still chewing the fat, still thinking about Jesus and the role of the church and my role in feeding His sheep... but one concept that stuck out to me is that of being broken to feed others. Referring to the Passover meal the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, in the hours before his body was literally broken for the salvation of mankind, Jen writes:

Doesn’t this concept of being broken for others ring true? It’s a spiritual dynamic that bears out physically. Why is it so exhausting to bear someone’s heavy, inconvenient burden? Why are we spent from shouldering someone’s grief or being an armor bearer? Why is it that lifting someone out of his or her rubble leaves us breathless? Because we are the body of Christ, broken and poured out, just as He was.
Mercy has a cost: Someone must be broken for someone else to be fed. That sermon that changed your life? That messenger was poured out so you could hear it. The friends who stood in the gap during your crisis? They embraced some sacrifice of brokenness for your healing. Anytime you say, “That fed me, that nourished me,” someone was the broken bread for your fulfillment. (pg 54-55)
Ok, so. When I give to others, and I’m exhausted, it’s what it should be - a sacrifice likening me to Christ - it’s appropriate to feel emotionally, physically zapped. And, when others show me incredible hospitality, cover me with prayers and encouraging words, and hold me up during difficult times, their actions aren’t without sacrifice. Something I hope to recognize and remain grateful for - and remember.

Just a tiny nugget. There are a zillion more between the covers of this book.
Check out what Jen’s up to here. Her blog posts are something else. And she’s got another book about to be released, 7: An Experimental Mutany Against Success... yikes! Read at your own risk.
And Jen - I feel like we’re old friends. Forgive me for that first impression... I’m sure glad I didn’t miss out on you!