You’re tired.

I’m tired.

Do you really need something else to read or to throw into your To-Be-Read list (TBR)? No,just-mercy no you do not.

Do you need a surefire recommendation for your church bookclub, social group, or adult book study? Something that will spark conversation and deep thoughts and push people to reflect on who Christ is in their neighbor- yes, yes you do.

Trust me on Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. This is a story about deeply seeded racism (that still is present today), the “justice” system, prejudice, and forgiveness.

Amazon describes the book, thusly:

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Normally, I put quotes that I liked from the book here, but I highlighted so much that it is too hard to choose. It is a book that needs reading with discussion partners and, preferably, with Easter still fresh in people’s minds. How do we grieve and reject an empire’s quick and unsympathetic of execution of an innocent brown man on trumped up charges when it happens all around us all the time?

Stevenson’s writing flows really well. Even late at night in the past week, even with all that’s happening, I had a hard time putting the book down. It’s frustrating to read and realize how little has change. It is simultaneously uplifting and encouraging to see how hard some people work(ed) for the truth to prevail.

Best of all, when you tell your council that this is the book that you’re all going to read between Easter and Pentecost, Stevenson’s website has a discussion guide to help you: I can’t make it any easier for you. Just put this title on the list next to whatever it was that you need to choose a book for: plane trip, cruise, book club, wine club, throw-down with the next-door neighbor. Everyone can learn something from this book and it’s best for us all to learn these lessons sooner rather than later.



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