REVIEW: Chasing Donkeys, Dwayne Morris

“…he had an affection for people who were searching for their identity in things that were neither healthy nor safe.” – Dwayne Morris, Chasing Donkeys, Chapter 1

These words really hit home for me.

Ever since Jesus touched and changed my life 10 years ago, I have NOT been drawn to spend time with the “religious” and the “churched” that are a part of the many Southern religious traditions where I grew up.

But I have been drawn to make friends and spend time with people who might be labeled names like “homeless”, “addict”, “criminal”, “thief”, “foreigner”, “black”, “asian”, “immigrant”, “illegal”, “muslim”, “gay”, “lesbian”, “homosexual”, “stripper”, “prostitute”, “porn star”, “drunk”, “drug dealer”, “abortionist”, “transvestite”, “divorced”, “orphan”, “widow”, “grieving”, etc. — that clearly do NOT fit into the nice little cookie cutter conforming box of what I thought that White Evangelical Southern Baptist Republican Christianity looked like.

Dwayne continues a page later with “just another guy who loved Jesus and people, especially those who were searching for purpose, but in all the wrong places”. And while some might focus on the words “all the wrong places” as being somehow judgmental — I know what he is getting to here. I’ve tried so many unhealthy and unsafe things myself and excluded others who “weren’t like me” before I realized those were all the wrong places. So, I can’t fault anyone for ending up in the wrong places too, can I?

He continues just a paragraph later with “his passion for people who were living life far from God”, and it was another confirmation that maybe I’m not so uniquely “insane” in my passion and my drive to be close to people who probably don’t agree with or believe what I believe. And it is almost scary to admit that I am not passionate about being close to them in order to “convert them to my religion”, or to “change their mind”, or “win them over to Christ”. I just feel compelled to offer them my love and my friendship — without the judgement, or condemnation, or persecution, or vitriol that they have come to expect from “religious people”. I truly don’t know whether they will see the love of Christ that lives in me, and I truly don’t know if they will ever consider getting to know this Jesus that I know and love. But He rescued me and has filled me with a spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control that is so different than the self-righteous hypocrisy that most unbelievers would attribute to “religion”. My heart hopes that maybe, just maybe, He might reveal Himself to them. And even if He doesn’t, what better gift could I give them than my friendship, if they do not yet have His.

I don’t know that anyone would ever think this of me personally about my Jesus, but when Dwayne says on just the next page “it marked him as one who clearly loved the Lord Jesus Christ”, my heart soared at the thought that my love for the Lord might be so utterly foolish and naive to an unbeliever — yet still so undeniable. Even if they pity me for my belief in something so childishly foolish, maybe they might envy me just the slightest for what love it produces towards them in my life?

And several pages later on page 26, I get to the man’s asking “I need to know more about that Jesus you were talking about…” and the opportunity that came of “talked with Ricky for an hour and a half about what Jesus Christ meant to him”. Many would focus on “eventually guided Ricky in a prayer…”, but I can tell you truthfully that I’m more excited about the “getting to tell what Jesus means to me part”. Because the Lord is going to do what He is going to do, when He is going to do it, when it comes down to someone “surrendering their life”. He doesn’t need my help in that department, and I sure don’t need to act like I should get any credit for any part of it. But to get to genuinely open my heart up about how good He has been to me? That is so very precious, my friends.

So just like Dwayne shares a paragraph later, I too am “just trying to follow the greatest commandments of loving God and loving people”. If you see me sharing scripture or talking about Him, I honestly can’t help it — I just love that He loves me. And He loves YOU TOO.

Check out Dwayne’s book, Chasing Donkeys on Amazon https://a.co/d/gwXW8kn

I’m still reading it myself, and so far, it has really been a blessing.

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Chasing Donkeys, Dwayne Morris

  1. I like testimony as an overflow of what God has done and, secondly, as a means He may or may not use in someone else’s life. This grateful confession removes calculation, how can I engineer a testimony to cause heart change in someone else?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The outcome is not the goal. The worship is the goal. If an outcome occurs, it was His outcome in His timing and many others before me would have sown and watered. If I just bought a field yesterday and cut back the tall weeds to reveal rows of vines loaded with ripe fruit, that’s an amazing blessing. But I usually can’t go cutting through the weeds expecting something amazing to happen without my expectations hindering the very humility and grattitude that shows room for God to do amazing things.

      The topic is easy to talk about a If I have something wonderful mastered, but it’s actually something I’ve noticed in myself that needs God’s healing touch.

      I can be a recluse and an introvert ( happy to come out from the holy of holies to declare the things of God) rather than be close and intimate with the unwashed masses who do not look, talk, act or even have the scent of God’s blessings on them — yet they are the ones to whom the cure is sent.

      Whew, that convicted me right there.

      Love you!

      Like

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