Miller’s ‘Blue Like Jazz’ Has Mass Appeal

Cover ImageI promised I would try to post at least something throughout this crazed week of winter break. So on this Lenten eve, I find myself pulling out a book whose title I randomly discovered in a magazine tossed in the reception room of a Birmingham dentist office about a year ago.

While waiting for my delayed appointment, I was looking for reading material and the only rag left on the table was oddly some sort of Christian publication. As I waited to be ushered to “the chair”, I flipped open to an article about author Donald Miller.

Inspiration finds us in the strangest of places, and it was in that dentist’s office that I was first attracted to the writings of Mr. Miller. Having long tired of the contrived books of spirituality that flooded the market, I was extremely interested in Donald Miller’s unorthodox and deeply honest approach in his exploration of faith and the question of his religious beliefs.

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.”

More along the lines of Utne Reader than biblical passage, Blue Like Jazz offers an alternative approach to the questions of faith tossed up by post-modern society. Though I would say that Blue Like Jazz might be considered a bit trippy in its non-traditional methods, I found Miller’s work utterly sincere as he ponders the existence of God and his own life’s purpose. Not only for those of religious practice looking for something different, Miller’s literary offerings and style will likely appeal to secular populations as well.

*Support your local bookstores and universities. It matters!

– Post by Megan Shaffer

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