Enjoying a book usually means I wish I wrote it. Not this time. What Jay Lowder went through to get the stories in Midnight In Aisle 7 down on paper I wouldn’t wish on a bus full of Yankee fans.
Jay’s publishers, Passio, www.passiofaith.com, squeezed the story of a six foot six Texan meeting God again and again outside the walls of the church into a skinny book of some 208 pages, but the book seems thicker than that because of the weight of the lives dripping off each page.
A lot of people pray, “Lord, use me.” and then drive away without using seat belts or turn signals. Jay’s journey caused him to frequently stop his truckload of certainty and look around at the hitch hiking souls scattered along the road paved with good intentions. The Good Samaritan as travel guide through the tumble weeds and lonely prairies of people wounded and scarred by roughshod and breakneck expressions of conditional faith.
Jay finds himself swallowing his words and chewing on scripture in between shared meals and cups of coffee with strangers who become eternal, though not necessarily life long friends. The point of Jay’s stories is not how wonderful he, or his life have become, or how filled with hope and confidence is his every human encounter, but how marvelous is the Lord’s doing that He would use traitors like each of us to reach out and listen to the rest of us.
Midnight in Aisle 7 raises issues of faith, in relationship to family, strangers, friends, and an invisible God who longs to be seen. Things go wrong, choices have consequence. The call for compassion, courtesy, and courage rings out through every story, every chapter, every page in this can’t put it down to just coincidence page turner.
This is not a book that one hands out to change other people’s lives, but if you read it, it will change yours, and answer a question I’ve always been afraid to ask. What would Jesus read?