Recently, I caught up with Jeremy Evans, author of the brand new book A Ragamuffin Saint: The Messy Journey of a Dusty Disciple.
Enjoy the interview.
- The name of your book is intriguing, tell me about that. How did you come up with that?
Great question. The term ragamuffin may be familiar to some, but I know it as a derogatory phrase that has been used to describe alcoholics and their behavior by the church for years. I heard it used as sarcastic slang in the meeting rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is one of many such words people have used to label people like me. It’s a word in the same category as alkie, drunk, junkie, vagabond, derelict, etc. You hear these phrases in the recovery community quite often. We laugh about these derogatory descriptors in hindsight because at one time these words cut like a knife. A Ragamuffin Saint is a statement that embraces the paradox of a redeemed sinner. For a Biblical example of the paradox I’m speaking of, read the writings of Paul in Romans chapter six.
- Tell me who or what your book is about? Who are you trying to reach?
I want this book to find its way into the hands of anyone who is struggling. I hope they learn that there is hope for them to overcome addiction. This message of this book is about discovery leading to recovery and is for those directly and indirectly affected by addiction.
- How would you summarize the central message of the book?
You are loved by God, that He is not angry with you, and He is there hope for you. It’s as simple as that.
- What makes it worthy of the reader’s time?
I believe its worthy of the reader’s time because it is written in a way that this message meets the readers right where they’re at. The book is like grace, in its own way, it meets you where you’re at, but doesn’t leave you there. It’s the first step in a new journey to find hope and healing.
- What inspired you to write it?
I’d worked as a Chaplain in nationally known drug, alcohol, and gambling treatment center. I’ve seen many lives transformed by the message God has given me. The message I am passing on to others is everything I’ve learned from others in Alcoholics Anonymous, the Church, and my own experience with addiction and recovery. My writing will cross over denominational lines and offer hope to those who felt left out, rejected, or cast away by the church. Ultimately, God inspired me to write it, but many people have told me for years to put the messages I’ve preached into a book. I pray that the book will become a carrier of a healing message that transcends the limitations of social media.
- What was it like writing a book of this magnitude? Is it true that its the first book in a series of three?
Writing a book of this magnitude was a challenge but by God’s grace and the assistance of Author and Mentor, Frank Viola, and his SCRIBE training for authors and writers I was able to accomplish this monumental feat. It is true that this book is the first in a series of three. My second book in this series will be coming out in a few months.
- Is the book for everyone, or just those who’ve struggled with addiction, or those who’ve lost their faith?
The book isn’t written to the strong Christian who has never struggled, it’s written for those who are honest enough to acknowledge their own struggle. I hope everyone reads it, but I don’t think it’s for those who think they’re completely invincible in Christ and believe that their superior level of faith will shield them from the struggles the average person experiences in this life. I don’t think they will accept what I have to say about faith. If anything, I expect that they will become the main source of criticism regarding what I’ve written, and I welcome it if it opens up a dialogue. If the reader finds the courage to be open about their own pain, then I believe the message of this book will bring life to them.
- In what way do you hope the reader will be affected by what they read?
I hope they will discover who Christ is outside of the negative religious caricatures that have corrupted their understanding of who He really is and desires to be in their life. I hope they can recover from anything that is holding them back. I don’t want the reader to think of me when they read this book, I want them to think more about Jesus working in and through me to save my life from addiction and despair. I want them to come to faith in Christ, and to take their seat at the table of God’s mercy and grace.
- Who are you? What qualifies you to write about it?
I am a child of God, a husband, a father, a friend, and a former pastor. Now, I am a writer and a storyteller. I hope to broaden my writing to encompass those who’ve struggled not only with addiction but with mental health and matters of faith. I believe God is calling me to an unconventional type of ministry by creating a new type of recovery community rooted in the grace and mercy of Christ. Stay tuned, I will be sharing more about what God is calling me to do in building an online spiritual community for those who’ve struggled with addiction.
- Where can we find your book?
You can find A Ragamuffin Saint: The Messy Journey of a Dusty of a Dusty Disciple on Amazon in paperback by clicking on this link https://amzn.to/2Wo2ywO and in an eBook format at this link https://amzn.to/2XtXK9z. Eventually, it will also be available on Audible. You can also find it at www.AuthorJeremyEvans.us. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.