Oh, this God who SEES (Yes Indeed, Karen Gonzalez)

Oh, this God who SEES (Yes Indeed, Karen Gonzalez) May 21, 2019

Oh friends, you are in for a treat today! Karen Gonzalez is a friend, a fellow writer and a teacher to me. I felt privileged to be able to read some of the early chapters of The God Who Sees, but even more so, consider it an honor to have my perspective changed by the likes of someone like Karen. The book releases today, so grab a copy ASAP, or check out this interview with her and take your chances on a giveaway copy! 

Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I am native of Guatemala and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. I live in Baltimore, MD where I write, speak, and advocate for my beloved immigrant community. In my first life right out of college, I was a high school English teacher—then I spent two years teaching English to college students in Kazakhstan. After that, I went to seminary where I studied theology and missiology. Now I am the human resources director at World Relief, an organization that does humanitarian work in the developing world and works in refugee resettlement and immigrant legal services here in the U.S.

Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? The God Who Sees is personal narrative of my immigration story from Guatemala to the United States, weaved with theological reflections of some of the immigrants in the Bible. The book follows the meta-narrative of the Bible that grafts strangers or immigrants into the family of God.

Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I was inspired to write this book because so few books about immigrants are written by immigrants themselves. I kept wondering aloud to my family and friends why more of us were not telling our own stories in the pages of books. I kept insisting that just as Alexander Hamilton’s perspective adds richness and depth to the story of the United States, as fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton know so well, so would immigrant stories, told by immigrants, provide a personal and intimate perspective on the subject. After months of hearing me complain, a friend gently suggested, “Why don’t you write that book?” So it was that I began to pray and seek God about writing a book—a thought that had never seriously entered my mind.

How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? My hope is that my readers would see that hospitality and community, no matter how flawed, can pave the way toward faith and transformation. I also hope they will learn a bit about immigration processes and how difficult they are—most Americans are completely out of touch with the difficulties of our outdated immigration system.

Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? Oh boy! Writing this book gave me a tiny glimpse into the struggles my parents and other relatives went through—I grew so much in my empathy for their uprooting of their lives and starting over again in a new land. I have so much respect and admiration for their resilience. I also grew in seeing the grace of God throughout my life, recognizing in a deeply transformative way that

God has always known me, even when I did not know God.

How and where can we find you on the internet? I can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook. I can be found on all those platforms musing about theology, smashing the patriarchy, and baseball. Go Dodgers!

I’m telling ya: The God Who Sees is GOLD. Leave a comment to win a copy of Karen’s story, insight and teachings, or skip the wait and head directly to your favorite bookseller so you can grab a copy for yourself! 

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