“Every day, busy, busy, busy making decisions, calling shots, bearing the burdens of the day, stressed about this and that and what will I do about this? What about that?
And then God makes me lie down. I must not be such a Big Deal. I must not be Manager of Everything, because, shoot, I can’t even manage being vertical anymore.”
– Brant Hansen
An opening like this makes me want to read a book:
“WARNING: If American church culture makes perfect sense to you and you fit in seamlessly, don’t read this.”
Because who fits in seamlessly? None of us. All of us are misfits in our own ways.
Brant Hansen puts words to it. These words are in his subtitle: Introverts. Spiritual strugglers. Or those who just feel like they’re missing something.
The rest of the book, Blessed Are the Misfits, explains why being a misfit is a good thing.
“While Chan said church people get ‘awkward’ when it comes to talking about Jesus, I can assure him that for many of us, the ‘awkward’ part starts with just talking.”
If you’ve ever said, “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief,” then you’ll likely relate to many things here.
Brant Hansen is a radio personality for the Christian WAY-FM network. He is the author of Unoffendable, one of my all-time favorite books (read it, read it!). He works with CURE International.
And he has Asperger’s syndrome.
While this book is not a memoir, it does get personal. Because of Hansen’s physical struggles and social awkwardness, he often felt like he didn’t fit in.
But along the way, he found Jesus. And now he highlights Jesus to other people who may feel the same way.
Hansen reminds us that Jesus values the underdog. Jesus doesn’t require us to follow the crowd, or to feel all the same emotions. He wants our hearts, not our perfection.
“Yes, some of our prayers are clumsy or meandering or even immature and selfish, but I get the impression from Scripture that God would rather be in communication with an immature, selfish person than be ignored by a theologically fastidious one.”
In a chapter called, “Blessed Are the People Who Can’t Pray Worth a Darn,” Hansen writes:
“Jesus says, ‘Here’s how to pray . . .’ and He then prays for about twenty-five seconds. And then quits!
. . .
For people like me and maybe you, if you’re terrible at prayer, it’s just beautiful. And merciful. And understanding.
. . .
I want you to know that God understands, and still wants us at His party. This is a God who knows us and loves us, indeed.”
A later chapter entitled “Blessed Are the Introverts Who Keep Trying” includes this:
“So here we are. It’s just that the problem with being around broken people is, you know, all the broken people.
. . .
I’m learning that people don’t suspect that God can find them lovable. It’s my job to prove to them that He does.”
Other chapter titles include, among more:
- Blessed Are the Unfeeling Faithful
- Blessed Are the People Who Just Read That Last Chapter But Still Have Some Questions
- Blessed Are Those Who Don’t have Amazing Spiritual Stories
- Blessed Are the People Who Do Church Anyway
And yet here we are, all loved by God, all in this together. A beautiful group of misfits.
“There are many promises in the Bible, but one gets repeated more than any other. It makes me again suspect God know us very well, indeed: ‘I will be with you.’”
That is a blessing indeed.
* * *
Have you ever felt you didn’t quite fit into church culture? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to BookLook Bloggers
for the review copy of this book
- Advice for All Ages
- 8 Books I Recommend – January 2018