Profoundly moving. From the first sentence to the last, “URGENT” gripped my heart and mind. It penetrated my spirit and touched my soul. With heartbreaking clarity and honesty, author, Joe Donahue, shares the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. “Urgent” is an accounting. Donahue gives an account of the sin of his father, and how those sins nearly destroyed him. He writes:
“Like Bartimaeus, I was just a blind beggar…covered in whatever filth I had been crawling through…blind at heart…worn out clothes wrapped my shivering body during cold nights…Injuries and wounds that would not heal–some wounds caused by my father…I walked bent over in shame…The weight was so great that it often became unbearable…I would weep with my face in the dirt…I could not lift my head. I was useless. Pathetic. Helpless.”
He uses clear, simple language. His illustrations are perfect pictures of the urgency he has in his heart for a lost world–a world ravaged by the kind of sin that imprisoned him in a shell of insecurity and anger. A world without Jesus. A world in need of a Savior–a world blinded by sin and deceived by Satan’s lies. Donahue’s message is clear.
Sin is real. Sin is nasty. Sin breeds sin. Because of sin, people are hurting. Lives are broken and children feel worthless. Yet, we have the hope to heal, to mend, to repair and regenerate the soul of man’s brokenness. That hope is Jesus.
Donahue’s urgency to share his personal story is palpitating. He does not whitewash his childhood; he doesn’t make excuses for the damage it did to him. He takes you from empathy for his broken little life to a desire to live the power-filled life he now lives in and through Christ. Donahue shares how he came to a reckoning with his heavenly Father and how that led him to reconciling the pain inflicted upon him by his earthly father. Joe shares how Christ healed his past and gave him new life.
The theme of the entire book is as urgent as the title. It is “igniting a passion for Jesus”. Joe Donahue’s need as a little abused boy was urgent. But no one came.
Joe sees the world’s need today is just as urgent as his once was; he works with teens who deal with heartache just as real, just as painful. He knows the church’s need is urgent. He longs to ignite a passion for Jesus–Jesus the Christ, the Redeemer of lost blinded souls. In his small volume of 101 pages, Joe weaves scripture throughout his story in such a way that a reader clearly sees who Jesus is, and what He does for those who call on Him. Joe’s transformation could not be more evident…from a blind beggar crying out to Jesus, to a redeemed man of God telling the world they can have Him, too. Joe’s passion gives new meaning to the word URGENT.
Youth need this book today. Every youth minister should read it and have extra copies to give out. Every Christian should read it and give it away when they’re finished. It needs to be in every church library. Buy two copies. You will want to give at least one away, right away. Why? Because it is “URGENT” that you do.
Book can be ordered directly through FreeChurchPress.com.
Joe Donahue is a husband, student pastor, and evangelist. He’s been featured on television shows including The 700 Club and is a popular conference speaker. He presently serves as the Student Pastor at First Redeemer Church, North Metro Atlanta, GA. You can find Joe on the web at www.youthevangelist.com.