When I read Anne Jackson's blog post back in 2008 that asked "What is the one thing you feel you can't say in the church?" I was intrigued to say the least.
Having grown up in small southern churches, I could relate. I can still relate today even in the church I attend now. There were things you never said and knew you were to never speak of in church. Not at least without judgment. Permission to Speak Freely couldn’t be more apt for aspects of the church I’m processing at the moment myself.
In Permission to Speak Freely Anne Jackson confronts the stigma of churches expecting people to be perfect. She isn’t afraid to ask if we can possibly be human in church today. Is it okay for us to be imperfect in church today?
She weaves together poems, responses from her readers as well as her own personal struggles and experiences as the daughter of a pastor to ask these questions. She’s not afraid to write about deep and difficult issues that most in our churches today would rather forget. She also shows us that in finding the courage to confront and confess these issues we also help others find the strength to face similar fears. In it all we also find grace which is something that God has been teaching me a lot about lately. Permission to Speak Freely is one book I would recommend you read this year.