Cover image for Wanted : a spiritual pursuit through jail, among outlaws, and across borders
Title:
Wanted : a spiritual pursuit through jail, among outlaws, and across borders
Author:
Hoke, Chris (Prison chaplain), author.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
xii, 367 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Interweaving his own story with ... vignettes and gritty experiences in hidden places, a jail chaplain and minister to ... gang and migrant worker communities chronicles his spiritual journey to the margins of society and reveals a subversive God who's on the loose beyond the walls of the church, pursuing those who are unwanted by the world"--Amazon.com.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062321367
Format :
Book

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BV4340 .H65 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Interweaving his own story with moving vignettes and gritty experiences in hidden places, a jail chaplain and minister to Mexican gang and migrant worker communities chronicles his spiritual journey to the margins of society and reveals a subversive God who's on the loose beyond the walls of the church, pursuing those who are unwanted by the world.

Wanted follows a restless young man from the sunny suburbs of his youth to the darker side of society in the rainy Northwest, where he finds the direct spiritual experience he's been seeking while volunteering as a "night shift" chaplain at a men's correctional facility. The jail becomes his portal to a mysterious world on the margins of society, where a growing network of Mexican gang members soon dub him their "pastor." As he comes to terms with this uncomfortable title--and embraces the role of a shepherd of black sheep--his adventures truly begin.

Hoke shares comic, heartbreaking and sublime tales of sacred moments in unlikely situations: singing with an attempted-suicide in the jail's isolation cell, dodging immigration and airport security with migrant farm workers, and fly-fishing with tattooed gangsters. Set against the misty Washington landscape, this unconventional congregation at times mirrors the Skagit Valley's fleeting migratory swans and unseen salmon. But Hoke takes us with him into riskier terrain as he gains and loses friends to the prison system, and even faces his own despair--as well as belovedness--on the back of a motorcycle racing through Guatemalan slums.

In these stories of "mystical portraiture," like the old WANTED posters of outlaws, Hoke bears witness to an elusive Presence that is still alive and defiant of official custody. Such portraits offer a new vision of the forgotten souls who have been cast into society's dumpsters, helping us see beneath even the hardest criminal a fragile desire to be wanted.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Just as Wanted posters alert the public to outlaws, Hoke's written sketches of prisoners with whom he has worked alert readers to the presence of God in those "slipping through the shadows." Lost in his early twenties, he imagined committing suicide until he met Bob Eckblad, a "radical theologian" who established Tierra Neuva ministry for jailed gang members in Washington state. There's rich material here: characters with tragic, compelling stories, including the narrator himself. He connects to these men by comparing them to Jesus and his followers, finding beneath their reticence red-hot spiritual hearts. This book should be great, but its narrative jumps are confusing. The story starts slowly, hampered by abrupt changes from character to character and time to time. Although this process introduces several players who will be followed through the book, the result is frustrating. One of the middle chapters, "Fly Fishing with the Damned," contains full story arc in itself, and it's a relief. From there, the book gathers momentum. It's worth the effort. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Wanted I

p. 5

Night Shiftsp. 13
Wanted II

p. 47

Birds of the Airp. 53
No Contactp. 75
Wanted III

p. 87

In Search of Sacred Spacep. 91
The Angle of Descentp. 103
Wanted IV

p. 127

Fly Fishing with the Dammedp. 133
Wanted V

p. 153

Fuck the Worldp. 165
Hearts Like Radiosp. 191
Stranger on the Edge of Townp. 229
Wanted VI

p. 251

Calimerop. 255
Wanted VII

p. 273

Saint Christopher on a Kawasakip. 279
Donacio's Tablep. 301
Fire in the Holep. 317
Wanted VIII

p. 349

Epiloguep. 357
Appendix: Tierra Nuevap. 359
Acknowledgmentsp. 361