[I] spent a good portion of Father’s Day reading, “Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me” by Ian Cron. I originally bought the book based solely on the fact that the title caught my eye. I rationalized the selfish Father’s Day reading based on the fact that I am a father and the word “father” can be found in the title. What the heck, I could have been doing a lot worse things than reading, right

I keep an always in flux, never memorialized, list of top five and top ten books. A concept akin to my declaring what “has made my journal.” This particular book has debuted in the top ten and has potential to rise. I always know the quality of a book by how many copies I immediately order on Amazon to give away to friends and family. Considering this criterion alone, we are talking top ten. As an aside, the number of copies of Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel should now unofficially make me a relative.

While I am not an author, I have an ability to understand when I am reading a gifted author’s work. Mr. Cron’s writing ability and style are instantly recognized as first rate. He tells his story of growing up in a family whose father was a practicing alcoholic. He tells of the hurt and the pain and the blaming of oneself. He tells how in many undesirable ways he follows in his father’s footsteps. He tells how he comes out the other side into the life that Jesus had designed for him. He tells his story with a beautiful mix of humor and stunning reality.You see if the story were not mixed with a fair amount of humor, if we were subjected to just the facts, we would weep and then after ten or twenty pages we would put the book aside. Needless to say as he told his story and most of mine, I laughed and I wept.  

Why do I write of this book? Simply put, we who have come out the other side want, no, need to consider how fortunate we are. It may seem a small thing but to the young boy who looks for his father at his school concert or at his athletic event and once again is the only one whose father is missing in action, it is anything but small. We at Joy Squared are dealing constantly with this small boy or girl. They may no longer be small children chronologically but they are those very same children who are now self medicating their continuing hurt into a temporarily sealed hole. Maybe we can understand just a bit more how our many friends got to where they are and maybe we can extend just a wee bit more compassion. Letting them know they are loved and that there is hope. That is my hope.