Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me
Ian Morgan Cron
You’re at an outreach event listening to a special speaker flown in for the evening to tell his amazing testimony. This book is that story. It’s a first-person account of how the author survived an alcoholic father and went on to struggle with his own alcoholism. In the end, he winds up as an Episcopal priest.
The writing is strong and imaginative, making emotive connections with the reader. The strength of the book lies in the redemptive truth that God can and does rescue people, and even gives them the ability to forgive the deepest hurt.
Though this is a personal memoir, there are no photos. That’s a real loss since the author points out in his story the great impact family photos have made on his emotions.
No title should promise more than it delivers. Of the four elements in the title – Jesus, my father, the CIA and me – two delivered and the other two, not much. About the CIA, yes, there is intrigue. But I was disappointed that the CIA kept floating across the stage as some vague shadow only to waft away again, still cloaked in mystery.
There was little real mention of Jesus. The church and professional counselling (wonderful resources, to be sure) had greater prominence. The MB audience may well ask, “Is there a personal relationship with Jesus?”
The other two elements of the title come through loud and clear. We meet the author’s father frequently in all his pathetic failure. And the ‘me’ in the title? The me stands out on every page, which risks the boy’s tale of woe taking on the whine of a narcissist.
Still, the book has value and will fill a need. Its professional quality assures you can hand it to your neighbour or friend with confidence. It offers solace, hope, and a light during an in-the-tunnel experience.