At first look of the title, you would think this follow up book to a previous book we reviewed, Dreamland, is a Christian-based book. It’s not. Yet, we are reviewing it here because of the direct application it has on lives within the United States and surrounding countries that the Church can have a direct impact in. Further, it is interesting that this has great current social commentary on the impact and also dichotomy western Christians have with regards to substance misuse and those struggling with addictions.
The book itself follows up the previous book that addresses the Opiate Epidemic and now is talking about the surge in Methamphetamines and Fentanyl. There are comments on how we are allowing ourselves to struggle with dependency on things such as sugar, being lethargic to our obligations as humanity and our Christian faith to be socially connected and looking out for one another, and the startling impact that these substances is having on individuals, families, and communities.
But it is the story of the woman who because of her renewed faith adopts not only a child but the cognitively-disabled mother who developed brain damage due to substances that spurred me to share this book. It is the old lady who did not know what methamphetamines were nor how to properly work with individuals struggling with the drug, yet gave food to those who needed it, opened their church, and changed the hearts in the community that gave me a conviction and new passion to share Jesus to the least of these. And it is the challenge that this author, a professed atheist, who fully summarized the compassionate heart of Jesus to serve our neighbors and love them as He loved us.
This book does not offer a theological debate on the weight of repeated sin or how best to help someone who will for years struggle with cravings, relapse, and guilt to repent of that sin. It does not even go into the solutions of treatment options or debate what is effective or right for care for individuals struggling with substance misuse. But it is this simple commentary that I think actually made the end comments specifically directed as Christians and those who could give more compassion a spotlight to do something because people are dying and communities are being destroyed.
If you work in mental health or substance misuse therapy fields or are part of a church that has any outreach to your community for helping widows, orphans, homeless, and those who struggle with mental health, I strongly recommend you pick this book up and open your eyes to some of the concerns around us. I give this book a 5 out of 5.