Monday, September 06, 2010

Book review: "Permisson to Speak Freely", by Anne Jackson

Anne Jackson's "Permission to Speak Freely" is an astounding piece of work. It’s amazing. In my many previous book reviews, I save my superlatives and only bring them out on rare occasions. But I’m unleashing the floodgates for this one. This book will touch anyone who feels they are or have ever been “damaged goods”, which means just about all of us. I got this book for free from the publisher, but in hindsight, I’d have paid $100 for it. It’s that powerful.

It's divided into 3 parts. The first part consists of Jackson's background story, mostly sad vignettes of how she was betrayed by people in the church. This betrayal was extended in many cases to her other family members, and clearly had a lasting effect on the author.

Part 2 explains her adult life so far, and how she has come to realize some truths about her past. Of all the things she learned, the biggest impact came from the realization that many people in churches everywhere have hurts, secrets, pasts, and things on their heart they want to share but feel they cannot.

And that's where the 3rd part comes in. In it, Jackson describes ways she is encouraging others to come forward, and say those things that are hard to say in church. Among Christians, transparency should be priority one, but in reality, that's not usually the case. She describes "the gift of going second", which is her showing leadership by telling someone something difficult about herself, so they will be more willing to get past their fear of opening up. 

And that's the ultimate goal here: to get people to open up. Because Jesus cannot heal any wound that's still hidden. We have an enemy who likes to work in the dark, and Anne Jackson has discovered the value of exposing things to the light. Only there can we find freedom.

Way to go Anne. You have done good.

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