Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Johnny Cornflakes

Churches can be good at saying that we welcome anyone and everyone, but do we always mean it? It's easy to say, but sometimes harder to put into practice. We affirm that God loves everyone, but when we're called to love them too, that's where it gets difficult.

These are the struggles that undergird the book Johnny Cornflakes. Denise George tells her own story of loving the unloved as she remembers her experience of ministry in the city of Chelsea, near Boston when her husband was called to minister in (what was to her) the depths of hell, far outside her comfort zone and safety zone.

Her talents as a fiction writer mean that this true story reads well, and draws the reader in. The story will also draw you up short, as you find yourself in the story and possibly find yourself sharing in the prejudices, before having your heart broken as the story unfolds.

Above all, this is a recounting of the wonder of God's grace, not just for the unloved, but also for the 'older brother', who also needs God's grace and love overflowing to others.

It's a challenging read, but ultimately a worthwhile read, particularly for those considering how to reach out to the lowest, the least and the lost in their community, because we all have Johnny Cornflakeses all around us.

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