Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review "Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead by Sara Miles

The Rev. Sara Miles, Minister and Director of the Food Pantry of St. Gregory of Nyssa in Los Angeles, writes about her work with the residents, rich and poor in LA.

Ms. Miles, her co-workers and volunteers take the local (and some not so local) misfits and turn them into workers and volunteers. She take adults and groups of children brought up in luxury and privilege and places them side by side with the children and adults from the "other side of the tracks" , teaching them the meaning of charity, love and a sense of “people.” The meaning of when Christ says, "Whatever you did for the least of My brothers and sisters, you did for Me." She shows us that faith without following actions cannot work. They are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.

She not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Her story makes you want to be there with her and Jesus, gathering the food, cooking the meals, empathizing with the lonely, healing the sick in mind and body and feeding those who may not have the wherewithal to feed themselves and their families.

Her story will open your eyes as she and her co-workers struggle to provide; never losing faith, ever comforting, ever struggling to make a better world for those around them. She smacks away our smug attitude about the "laziness and stupidity of the poor." It gives us hope for a kinder world and that, yes, we can all be followers of Christ. Wherever we are, whatever we do.

I gave this book five stars, not only for the message the book sends, but by the way Ms. Miles presents her urban drama-drawing you ever into the church and its Christ-like teachings, ever so gently encouraging the reader that this may be the way we all can live.

Sara Miles was a former cook and war correspondent before she became a minister and founded the Food Pantry of St. Gregory. She also wrote “Faith in the Streets” and “Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion.”

Patricia A. Guthrie
Waterlilies Over my Grave 2008
In the Arms of the Enemy 2007

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