I found Ian Morgan Cron’s biography ‘Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me’ to be a fascinating read (I received a complimentary e-book version from Booksneeze.com to review). Sometimes Cron’s recollection of his childhood living with an alcoholic father is painful but always humorous.
“As the child of an alcoholic, I knew how to smile and work a room like someone running for re-election, even when there was a spear sticking”
Cron’s awe of God as a small child permeates throughout the story with starting with his first communion and his disappointment with God as young boy is heart breaking as his prayers for a better family life are unanswered. Cron unwilling followed his father’s footsteps into alcoholism and became depressed and frustrated with God even as he worked for the church.
“I didn’t want to parse God—I wanted to be swept up in his glory. I didn’t want to understand the Holy One; I wanted to be consumed in his oceanic love. I yearned for heaven, and as long as it remained beyond my reach, my life was tinged with disappointment.”
But Cron comes to forgive his late father and his mother who covered up so much for him and although he still carries the anxiety of whether he can be a good father to his children has come full circle to be the Priest conducting the communion service.
Cron’s is a funny, sometimes irreverent story of a child grappling with God and a dysfunctional family. One of my favourite quotes is from the end of the book were Cron is learning to be less fearful and cautious, a lesson taught to him by his children:
“There is a big difference in life between a jump and a fall. A jump is about courage and faith, something the world is in short supply of these days. A fall is, well, a fall.”