I recently had the opportunity to read Brant Hansen’s new book, Blessed Are the Misfits, as part of the book launch team. I was SUPER stoked about it, because I used to listen to Brant when he was on Air1 and loved his presence there. He’s the only DJ I’ve ever really cared much for. I’m usually the person who changes the channel when someone starts talking, but Brant always held my interest. I’d turn the volume up instead of changing to another station. He is such a real, honest, funny, down to earth human being who loves Jesus. He is who he is, and who he is is a quirky, funny guy who loves puppets and toast and Jesus and his family and adorable animals and working with CURE and he is an Aspie and has nystagmus (like my K, but his is not episodic like hers) and a gift for sharing ALL of those things with other people. It’s not ever posturing with Brant and there is something refreshing and very inviting about that. Those things definitely shine though in this book.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a weird season spiritually, not in my relationship to Jesus, but in relationship to much of what the church chooses to do and be right now. I love Jesus and I love our church family, but Christian culture has just lost me big time. Some of it grieves me daily, some of it is just confusing for me and always has been. This book really, really spoke to me on that level. It’s not a diatribe about the church, but it does draw the attention back to Jesus and who He is and what He is guiding us towards…and gently points out some of the things that we value as church folks aren’t really scriptural.
One example of this is the emphasis we put on OUR emotions as a barometer of where we are spiritually. We put so much emphasis on our feelings, but God doesn’t. We’ve probably all seen the meme that circulates on Facebook, “If God doesn’t feel close, guess who moved?” But Brant reminds us that faith is not emotionalism. Not feeling doesn’t mean that we are doing something wrong, chasing after God is not equivalent with chasing after a feeling. He talks about how Mother Teresa struggled with this for many years and wrote extensively about it, but she still lived out her faith so beautifully.
If you have ever felt at odds with Christian culture or have been made to feel like you don’t fit because you aren’t an extrovert or because you don’t raise your hands or don’t emote a certain way or because you’ve struggled with depression or if you feel like you don’t pray “right” or if you have deep wounds or you strongly relate to doubting Thomas or you feel like you are the only Christian struggling when everyone else has already overcome everything, this book is for YOU.
But really, I feel like this book is for EVERYBODY. Even if you don’t relate to a thing in the above paragraph, there is good stuff for you in here, too. If you want to understand your fellow human beings a little better, read it. If you want to be brought back to the simplicity and complexity of Christ, read it. I loved it. Every time I started to highlight a quote it turned into a passage that turned into pages that turned into nearly a whole chapter. The whole book is worth highlighting, really. So much of Christianity seems to be false facades and smiling faces, but there is so much more to it and even the hard and painful parts are really beautiful and have worth. We lose something when we refuse to be real with one another, and I think what we lose is something that God intended for our good. This book is deeply real and also deeply funny at times. It is worth your time. If you’ve talked to me recently, I’ve probably mentioned it to you in some capacity. If I could, I’d buy a dozen+ copies and give them away to all my people. It will be released on 11/28, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. If you do, I hope it speaks to you as deeply as it spoke to me.
Here are a few quotes to hold you over until release date: