Whose interest would not be piqued by Ian Morgan Cron ‘s uniquely titled Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A memoir…of sorts? Once you’ve read this gritty literary work, you realize how aptly that title captures content. Jesus is the primary mover in a memoir that describes the author’s lack of a relationship with an alcoholic father who somehow managed to work successfully and secretly for the CIA.
Many modern memoirists confess self-destructive behaviors and describe abusive relationships, but Cron places successive negative revelations on the unbreakable cord of God’s grace. Because he was raised as a Roman Catholic and eventually became an Episcopal priest, that grace comes to him most acutely in the Eucharist, which he calls “the string on which the pearls of my life’s experiences, burnished white and dirty gray, have been strung” (p. 248).
At his first communion, Cron cried because he was a kid who “was hungry and thirsty for God, who longed to be full”; he portrays the presiding bishop’s “gesture of blessing,” extended singularly to him, as a “long and enduring” rope tied around his waist that kept him anchored to the grace of Jesus through the blinding blizzard of his youth (p. 45).
Cron’s realistic depictions of depravity are gritty because they are both coarse and courageous. His literary skill shines in smooth prose that flows above dark depths, past dangerous rocks, and into the calm light of Christ’s love.
Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A memoir…of sorts
by Ian Morgan Cron
© 2011 by Ian Morgan Cron
Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN, 257 pp.