Jesus by Stephen Michael McDowell
There is a large amount of affection for what Stephen discusses with Jesus. One might call this ‘heart’. Jesus has heart. Stephen gets more vulnerable than vulnerable with us. If he was telling me all this stuff in person I’m not sure if I could relate. A lot of this requires a certain amount of contemplation to truly understand. Personally I do not come from a religious family. I have had very few religious experiences in my life. No one in my family ever told me about religion. Rather I picked up pieces of religion from the street. I dusted them off and called them mine.
Stephen starts with ‘every sexual experience I had while Christian’. I am surprised he made it to 18 and a half while maintaining his Christianity. That’s pretty impressive. Most Christians do not make it past High School. It can be difficult to read about someone going through their own sexual path. Though my first kiss was when I was six years old so ha Stephen, I kind of beat you. Childhood is being awkward without knowing it. Only when we get older do we get any self-awareness. Man, that stuffed animal took one for the team, via sexual exploration. Glad to know when Stephen was young he was ‘into’ stuffed animals. ‘I date Jesus’ is the worst pickup line I have ever heard. Read the last line of this, it will make you say ‘Jesus’ aloud. It did for me. College is weird.
Religious experiences appear. Stephen is lucky. Most people do not have many religious experiences. I like how he is told to fall at church. Is there a religious version of ‘trust falls’? Does God catch you when you fall? I thought He just carried people on beaches when they were tired. Speaking in tongues sounds fun. I should try it. God amazes young Stephen. God makes all these creatures and infinity. It is hard to draw these impossible creatures according to Stephen. Love Stephen’s High School experience about worrying how to multiply. That is a strange concern to have as a teenager. My goal in High School was to meet my own Jennifer Herrema and start a freaked-out druggie band without drugs. Stephen’s goal sounds more achievable. His epiphany about God is intense.
‘My Dad’ is my favorite section. Stephen’s dad is a good dad. He listens. For a while they had a falling out due to Stephen’s disbelief in God. I like how the family comes together in the church to talk it out. The story shows how Stephen’s dad selflessly loves all his children. Even when Stephen says he doesn’t care about money his father gives him some, purely out of care. I feel Stephen’s dad has one of those endless reserves of patience that one needs to be a good dad.
Heaven/Hell ends the collection. According to Stephen’s perception of Heaven, it sonically sounds great. The description of the music is interesting. I hope Heaven plays a lot of Autechre and early Warp Records music too. Miss the challenging stuff Warp used to put out. Hope I don’t go to Hell. Hell sounds bleak and lonely.
This is excellent. Feel it is extremely personal. I like how Stephen feels comfortable sharing this with us. Hope this is just the beginning to more wonderful goodness from Stephen. Glad he signed his real name to it. That’s very positive.