- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; Collectible Edition edition (February 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062321366
- ISBN-13: 978-0062321367
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders Hardcover – February 3, 2015
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“A liberating, transformative chronicle of how spirituality can foster inspiration and hope while emboldening the downtrodden through their darkest days.” (Kirkus)
“When Chris first told a story on my show, Snap Judgment, it was so beautiful I wept. But I kept asking for more. This book proves what we believe at Snap—stories can lure you into places you’ve never imagined, and maybe even change your life.” (Glynn Washington, Host and Creator of NPR's Snap Judgment)
“I’m not Christian but Chris has proven that all people—even the most troubled—are worth our intrusions, even as passersby, as migrants, as souls among souls. Thank you for this moving story. More people should have such courage, such character.” (Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and author of Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing)
“A powerful and moving account of what it means to actually engage a hurting world.” (Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy)
“As a former jail chaplain myself, I have yet to find a book that is so well written, so honest, and so non-naïve-and yet compassionate-about the kind of world we live in! You will live in your own world with greater courage if you read this book.” (Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation and author of Falling Upward)
“God has a remarkable ability to show up anywhere. Blessed are those, like Chris Hoke, who have eyes to see, and who tell the stories so that we may come to believe. WANTED is beautiful writing and powerful testimony to God’s living presence in forgotten places.” (Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread and City of God)
“Chris Hoke is what I would call a Christ-follower. He follows the path that Jesus walked, eyes open, hands ready to help, heart ready to break. The result is life-changing-for him, for those he serves, and for us if we have ears to hear.” (Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems)
“Wanted sings the gospel song that’s echoed through the centuries, from Paul and Silas’ jail cell to Fannie Lou Hamer’s. I haven’t read a book since Tattoos on the Heart that made me cry and shout “Amen!” as much as this one.” (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Strangers at My Door)
“Hoke meets the lonely young men of his valley who are in so many ways unwanted—and he advocates for them, loves them, calls them brother. Beautiful, unsettling, sometimes laugh out loud funny....For all their darkness, these stories have given me hope like nothing else I’ve read in recent memory.” (Fred Bahnson, author of Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith)
“ Hoke eloquently articulates the erasure of margins and the birth of a new inclusion-where the demonizing ceases and the disposable are no longer tossed aside. It is a book which refines one’s own heart to meet the brokenness of the other and discovery your own. ” (Greg Boyle, S.J., Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries and author of Tattoos on the Heart)
From the Back Cover
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 chap-lain at a men's correctional facility. The jail becomes his portal to a mysterious world where 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 sublime tales—sometimes comic, other times heartbreaking—of sacred moments in unlikely situations: singing with someone who attempted suicide in the jail's isolation cell, dodging immigration and airport security with migrant farmworkers, and fly-fishing with tattooed gangsters. Set against the misty Washington landscape, Hoke's writing takes us with him as he gains and loses friends within 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," Hoke offers a new vision of the forgotten souls who have been cast into society's dumpsters, helping us see that beneath even the hardest criminal is a fragile de-sire to be wanted.
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A few years ago, I would have been terrified of this darkness. I said it wasn't my problem. I saw inmates as criminals, a different class of sinner than myself. I figured they were getting what they deserved.
Since then, my life has become inextricably, intoxicatingly enmeshed with prisoners, women and men who have known a life without freedom, who understand what it means to claw towards the light. My worldview continues shifting and I see glimpses of the world through the lenses of who they are (which is not so different from who I am.)
Wanted by Chris Hoke makes sense of my heart. The love of Jesus I know is foolish. It rescues us from American common sense and paper-town safety. It's wild and relentless. This is the love we read about in Wanted. I wholeheartedly recommend this beautiful book.
It's also interesting to read about Hoke's own journey and how he's 'found his vocation', as it were, bit by bit over the years.
There are some extraordinary characters here too: people who've found Christ, or Christ's love shown through others, and who have come up from the garbage heap and turned their lives around. There are also people who were on the brink of doing this, and fell back into their old lives again, people whose lives ended abruptly.
So it's a real mix of hope and distress, pain and joy.
All that said, it's also rather hard going. At one point Hoke talks about his admiration for the book, A River Runs Through It, and you almost get the impression that he's based his writing style on that reflective, slow-paced, nature-descriptive approach. He also takes things out of chronological order so that he can focus on different people at different times. For me this meant that I couldn't always line up where he was in his ministry, what he'd done by a certain point and what he hadn't.
There's no doubt that Hoke can write well, but sometimes you just want to get on with what he's got to say about someone and not spend a lot of time getting there.
Still, it's a great testament to the work of Christ in people's lives, most of whom in these stories, are Christians outside the normal church scene.
Thank you Chris for getting this into book form so we could all benefit from these stories and be encouraged to take the actions of love.