For a man with the most unassuming name possible, John Smith has certainly had one H-E-double-hockey-sticks of a life.
From the cover of his book, it introduces this fascinating and challenging man as the "founder and Executive Director of Concern Australia and the founding President of God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club of 35 years.... He is as much at home talking to business leaders, academics, church leaders, politicians and the media, as he is with school children, university students, the poor and marginalised, and outlaw motorcycle club members."
I heard him speak at my three day chaplain's conference earlier this year. There was some controversy as a few people were perhaps offended when he shouted at as during one of his talks. But I, for one, loved it. I think we need people who are not afraid to give it to us straight; who don't care if they make us uncomfortable; who, in fact, use discomfort as a powerful tool.
But it has taken several months to actually get around to reading his book. Perhaps because I knew it was going to be challenging, so I put it off.
I'm going to blog my way through it, commenting on the things that stick out to me. I've barely got through the first two chapters and already I've felt convicted, uncomfortable, near tears, and profoundly inspired.
Get ready for a bumpy ride.