Donald Miller has the ability to seem like one of those friends who you don’t talk to or see frequently, but when you do, it’s as if you just saw them yesterday. He cozies up to you as if he’s never left, as if you’ve been friends your whole life long. You pick up where you left off and sit enthralled as he weaves his latest yarn.
Miller has made a writing career out of telling his stories. Whether it’s about growing up without a father, going on a road trip, living in Portland, Oregon, or something else, he has a knack for telling stories. He’s also made an art form of standing naked and vulnerable in front of people with his words. He has focused his books on the transformations that take place in his life, the ways that he is being made new and different.
“Scary Close” is no different. Miller tells the story of how he had to work through his own mess before he could finally feel fit enough for a long-term relationship. Of course, he didn’t come to the conclusion on his own, he had help from friends who spoke truth into his life. He’s honest about the various ways that he had sabotaged so many relationships with the opposite sex in the past. “Scary Close” is the story of how he finally entered into one of the greatest adventures that life holds: marriage.
Miller’s honesty and candor are refreshing, he never claims expertise. He paints himself as a sojourner, learning from his own mistakes and hoping that others might do the same. From a layman’s perspective, he lays out his own observations of his own mistakes as well as the mistakes that are common among relationships. He identifies some of the characteristics that have stood out as hindrances to his own relationships in the past.
Miller’s work isn’t for everyone. Anyone coming to this book expecting a theological treatise or something deeply theological will be disappointed. There may even be some who would criticize the work for seeming steeped in psycho-babble, but alas, we will all have critics. Miller’s work wasn’t written for scholars but for the common man or woman. Through his unfolding story, he gives hope to the average man or woman who might stumble onto his work and find comfort and solace in the fact that there are other people out there who feel inadequate and fall short of their own expectations of themselves. Through his story, he encourages others who may have found themselves traveling down a similar road to the one which he was on.
“Scary Close” is a quick and enjoyable read. While there were no major “aha” moments or deep takeaways, the book had lots of insights and nuggets that will be a helpful reference as I consider the idea of intimacy and why it seems to elusive to so many.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Harper Collins Publishing. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)