“Permission to Speak Freely” by Anne Jackson is one of those “dangerous” books to read. It’s dangerous because every page seems to bring a new uncomfortable topic and a new battle within your own heart to push ahead. As Anne discusses abuse, addiction, pornography, and the lack of openness within the body of Christ, the reader is faced with not only their own internal story, but also the story of their own walls being rattled. It is a must read for every church member and leader.
As a pastor, it is easy to avoid the pain and agony in our own heart by being busy and caring for the heart of others. The reality is that as church communities, we rarely care for others at the heart level and the continual battle for doing instead of being rages in our community. Anne opens up new avenues of honesty and vulnerability that helps us to see ourselves and others for what we truly are; broken.
“Permission to Speak Freely” says what I have wanted to say for a long time in ministry. It screams of hidden pain and stolen joy. When we step out of our bubble and begin to really do life with others, the hiddeness must give way to honesty and the honesty must lead us to the gospel. Life is messy and helping others find real life in Christ causes us to have to deal not only with their mess, but our own. Anne Jackson gives voice to the liberating acknowledgment of being messy ourselves. And that is what makes “Permission to Speak Freely” so freeing.