Book Review: Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron

Why you might want to skip this book and review

If you are a perfect parent, and have perfect parents, feel free to scroll down and click on one of the links in the blogroll below and find something else to read. You will gain nothing from reading either this blog post or the reviewed book.

For the rest of us who are imperfect parents and were subjected to imperfect parenting, read on.

Impressions of the book

Ian Morgan Cron, the author, subtitles this book “A memoir . . . of sorts.” This subtitle proves helpful since the book is a series of stories rather than an attempt to provide a detailed chronology of the author’s life.

Throughout the book, Mr. Cron provides glimpses into the struggle that he had in finding a Heavenly father because of the failings of his earthly one.

One of the things that I appreciate about this book is the humor that the author captures when recounting scenes from his childhood. The stories are inherently interesting, but the way that Ian recounts them makes them delightful. The book reminds me of the movie “A Christmas Story” in the way that the author finds humor even in the difficult and embarrassing episodes of adolescence. There were a few places in the book where I found myself laughing out loud while reading it.

The stories are delightful, but also encouraging. While my father was neither in the CIA, nor an alcoholic, as was Mr. Cron’s, I could relate to the struggle to find a sense of self and purpose while navigating the stormy waters of the American school system. Ian shows the reader that all along the way, God was giving him clues to his existence and waiting for him to come home.

The author is quite candid about his own struggle with alcohol and the events that led up to his recovery. I appreciated the candor, and am reminded that even when our hearts have been given to God, sometimes it takes the rest of our being some time to align itself in this new relationship.

Why You Should Read This Book

If you want to laugh with the author at the foibles of growing up, then you will enjoy this book. If you would like to hear one man’s story of finding God even when it seemed as though the world was arrayed against him, then you should read it. If you had a childhood that contained events which were difficult and to this day are recalled with pain, then you might find encouragement from a fellow traveler.

The book is also comforting to me as a parent. Ian is candid about his own struggles and victories in parenting. I am also encouraged by the fact that God can work in the lives of children even when their parents are imperfect. The book instills hope that my own imperfections as a parent can be overcome by our Heavenly Father..

There is one other benefit to reading a book like this. Too often I am so consumed by my own stuff and the needs of my immediate family, to be sensitive to the needs of the people around me. Ian’s writing reminds me that no matter how put together the people we meet seem to be on the outside, there may be mountains of pain and struggle beneath the veneer. I am encouraged to stop and do a better job of listening.

Some helpful links:

Disclaimer: I was offered a promotional copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review for this blog. I have received no compensation for writing this, nor do I get any benefit from anyone purchasing the book through this hyperlink in the book cover photo. The link is provided solely for the benefit of the reader.