Blue Like Jazz
Updated: May 8
Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, isn't just a book that you read. It's a book that you feel. It's a book that addresses God and Jesus and Christianity, but it is not about religion. I'd have likely put it down if it were.
But I couldn't put it down. It is a book about spirituality; it is a book about the soul; it is a book about relationship.
Miller chronicles his adventures through life. A life that, I gather, he has spent trying to better understand something bigger than himself.
As a guy raised in church, I can relate to much of his frustration with the judgmental and fundamentalist views and behaviors that have stained the world's view of the Christian Church. I also find it noteworthy to mention that I have met some tremendous people along the way who would give the shirt off their back to a perfect stranger in need, as I'm sure Miller has as.
The underlying theme of the book is love. And our calling as Christians is to love our fellow human beings, not to judge one another. Somebody with a higher authority holds that responsibility.
We learn from others whether we are or aren't worthy of love. This, Miller supposes, is why there are so many mentions in the Bible of God telling us to love one another.
Our job isn't to change people, it is to love them.
The other part of love is the ability to receive love, and to love yourself, which Miller calls, "the key to happiness."
As someone who doesn't always know what to pray about, I will be dipping in to some of Miller's ideas: to pray that my loved ones will be able to receive love. Because love, particularly God's love, won't change us if we don't first accept it.
"Love is both something that happens to you and something you decide upon."
Miller's perspective is both refreshing and beautiful. If you call yourself a Christian, this book is worth your time. If you don't, this book is still worth your time.
The book is real. The feels are deep. The message is that God offers us a better life now and for eternity.
You will not finish it feeling judged. Convicted, maybe, that is between you and God, but you won't feel judged.
The world could use less judgment and more love.
Blue Like Jazz might be able to help us fight that battle.