We’ve come to the end of Sara Miles’ Jesus Freak, and it was an interesting, thought-provoking read. I recommend it to people who grew up in the church in particular, since Miles’ faith journey begins as a middle-aged adult. This fresh perspective brought my attention to things I had never given much thought to before, like the many ways to heal or the role of communion to feed physically and spiritually or the fact that we are always forgiven by God whether we want to be or not.
The final section of the book talks about raising the dead, perhaps the most metaphorical way to follow Jesus. Can human beings literally raise the dead back to life? No. But Miles would still argue we can raise the dead in many ways.
Here are some ways, after reading Miles, I think the dead can be raised:
- Celebrating someone’s life after they have died: when we remember joyfully the kindness, the joy, the passion, the funny little nuances of someone’s life, we keep their spirit alive among us
- Being there for people struggling with addiction or depression or abuse: they may still be physically alive, but part of them had died; by being a source of love, acceptance, and consistency, we can bring people back to a healthy, vibrant life
- Starting each day with gratitude: when we are thankful for our life, when we express gratitude to our God or to our community, we are immersed in the family of the living and the dead; I think an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude reminds us of those who have come before and those who will come after as part of this world’s community
Raising the dead doesn’t require a miracle. Raising the dead can be as simple as cooking your great-grandmother’s pumpkin pie, or supporting someone as they fight to reclaim their life from addiction and depression and abuse, or raising the dead can be waking up in the morning and remembering that community transcends life and death.
Go feed, heal, forgive, raise the dead, and be a Jesus Freak, no miracles necessary.