Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead” as Want to Read:
Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  731 ratings  ·  99 reviews
"I came late to Christianity," writes Sara Miles, "knocked upside down by a mid-life conversion centered around eating a literal chunk of bread. I hadn't decided to profess an article of doctrine, but discovered a force blowing uncontrollably through the world."

In this new book, Sara Miles tells what happened when she decided to follow the flesh and blood Jesus by doing so

Hardcover, 171 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Jossey-Bass (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jesus Freak, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jesus Freak

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  731 ratings  ·  99 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved Sara Miles's first book Take This Bread, and I loved this one, too. Let me just say that anytime I read about a person who is gay being Christian, I feel incredibly humbled. For all the good news and power that the Christian faith holds for all people, it is gay people--more than any other group--who have the right to hate Christians and Christianity. I find it remarkable when I read about someone like Bishop Eugene Robinson in New Hampshire, for example, who has put up with incredible w ...more
Leroy Seat
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am very impressed, again, with Sara Miles and her faith and action. And her theology is compelling because it is reflection on action (praxis), not just thought separated from action.

She closes the Introduction with these words: “All it takes to be a Jesus freak is to follow him” (p. xx).

In the section on healing, she contends that “Jesus specifically heals people even when they aren’t cured. He doesn't stop suffering, but promises to be with us in suffering” (p. 73).

With the story of the ma
Craig Werner
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
It Tom Waits were a Christian (and I don't have any real idea whether or not he is), this is the kind of book he'd write. Fiercely committed to taking Jesus--who she refers to through most of this powerful memoir "The Boyfriend"--seriously, Sara Miles presents a vision of committed Christian action organized around the concrete acts of feeding, healing, forgiving and resurrecting. As described in her first book, Take This Bread, the center of her activity is the food pantry at St. Gregory's Epis ...more
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Patricia by: Rev Rachel Gregory Holy Family Church Illinois
The Rev. Sara Miles, the Minister and Director of the Food Pantry of St. Gregory of Nyssa in Los Angeles, writes about her work with residents, rich and poor in LA.
Ms. Miles, her co-workers and volunteers take the local (and some not so local) misfits and turn them into workers and volunteers. She take adults and groups of children brought up in luxury and privilege and places them side by side with the children and adults from the "other side of the tracks" , teaching them the meaning of charit
Michael Canoeist
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Maybe this would have made a better magazine article. Jesus Freak starts fairly well, but it quickly becomes repetitious, predictable, and dull. Almost every character the author mentions having met after getting involved with a San Francisco church is introduced as unusual and interesting; but there is almost nothing that ever shows the reader what made them so interesting to her. The only one who might have held our attention is the author herself, and she is very reticent on that subject -- o ...more
Molly Krantz
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
What the author is talking about in this book is radical Christianity. The really odd thing is that she is only listening to the words of Jesus and acting on them. This should be common Christianity. Sara and her Church are actually feeding the hungry and cooking for them too, instead of the practice of many Churches who have a food pantry open at specified hours. I was attracted to this book because of the title. The book is well named because it harkens back to that time when we were putting t ...more
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Kind of a bummer I found the main trope of the book (Jesus as "Boyfriend") so damn annoying and simultaneously creepy. Raises all sorts of consent issues for me that makes my skin crawl (Jesus as the boyfriend who won't back off? Really, really terrible image.) I get how Sara's trying to challenge folks into a fresher conception of intimacy with the divine with an updated take on Jesus as "Bridegroom"--and that it's super-meaningful for her and others in her life--but it doesn't work for me. At ...more
Don Watkins
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. It's an incredibly well written book. I read her first book and was familiar with her. I also volunteer in a soup kitchen and a food pantry and have lived some of the same journey that she shared. I too see Jesus in the people we serve. Like Sara both the pantry and the soup kitchen are like church. They are definitely a community and they are a huge part of my life. I like Sara too because she is unorthodox and she brings a welcome freshness to holiness and what it means t ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Disclaimer: i am an atheist and survivor of rabid fundamentalism. That said, i couldn't put this book down. Amazing storyteller Sara Miles lets us on the inside of running a food pantry that feeds over 800 people in the dregs of San Francisco. Let's just say this: i'm all for using Twinkies as communion bread.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Messy church is not about Bible stories for preschoolers with glue sticks. Sara Miles talks about where church gets really messy, where Christians are called to act, to be the hands, the feet, the face of Jesus in broken inner cities, for people with addiction problems and mental health issues that make them hard to get close to.

The Food Pantry she started in her church feeds hundreds of people weekly. There is no complex form-filling to assess need, no questions asked, just free food to give a
Cleo Reynolds
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love how in love the author is with Jesus and I totally agree with her about how we are Jesus's hands and feet to the lost, hungry and hurting world. I do believe that Jesus is the only way He is the truth and the life. Healing sometimes happens here on earth but sometimes it happens in heaven. I know we can have assurance that if you ask for forgiveness and believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He is welcomed as your saviour into your life you can have eternal life with him and God i ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, faith
I have to admit ... the title of this book almost caused me not to read it, even though I loved Sara Miles' other book, Take This Bread. But I'm glad that I did and recommend it to anyone who is curious about this liberal Christian's perspective on how to implement all of those seemingly-impossible-to-achieve instructions about forgiveness, loving your neighbors, and all the miracles like turning water into wine and bringing the dead back to life.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a description of exactly how I image Jesus imagines his church to be. My favorite quote; "You have been forgiven everything. Go and do likewise." Likewise being feeding, healing, raising the dead and not in the ways you imagine. . .if you have even imagined raising the dead. This is a must read for anyone who relishes a love story and everyone who thinks they have a "boyfriend" named Jesus!
Russell Vitrano
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: olpl
I'm sorry, but I just can't find any use for the phrase, "Jesus was healed of His racism." Only reason I'm not giving this one star is bc I believe the author was trying to be poetic and/or I may or may not be able to see her interpreting the particular story in a postmodern way. There were a few other places in this book too where I wasn't sure if the differences between our POVs were bc of a difference in interpretation... Or just straight-up blasphemy.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good Sara Miles book: reads well as a follow up to *Take This Bread.* She has an interesting journey and is a good storyteller and writer.
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
I want to start by saying I really loved this book, and going back through it makes me love it more.

I'm a fan of Miles' first book, "Take this Bread," and I adore her experience of an open table and her church's practice of it. For those who haven't read it, she wandered into St. Gregory's Church, took Communion without being baptized first or really knowing much of anything, and in eating that bread, she knew Jesus. Hers is an incredibly powerful witness to the mystery of what happens at the E
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Every single thing the resurrected Jesus does on earth, he does through our bodies."

Sara Miles received the bread in a communion service at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco and much to the surprise of her sceptical mind, she experienced Jesus. Since that mystical encounter in worship Miles, a veteran war correspondent founded and directs The Food Pantry, and serves as Director of Ministry at the church that gives food to 800 people each week right off the altar in the sanc
My daughter, who is a minister, is leading a group on spiritual memoirs and has chosen Miles's earlier book, Take This Bread as the first selection. That one is a true spiritual memoir and will also give the reader Sara Miles's fascinating "backstory". But it's not strictly necessary to read it first in order to be stirred by Jesus Freak, even though in some ways it's an extended epilogue to Take This Bread.

The subtitle says it all: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead. Lest this last phrase scare
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
i read books like i eat food (and food is love in this book) like i do everything...too fast. (i apologize for no caps) i just read her first book and started right in on the second. the two are blurred now. FIRST, before i begin rambling...the takeaway from her books is her belief that all creatures which is love in her mind. it's about the poor, destitute, mentally ill and addicted'...the people who come for food at the pantry and stay to have a home cooked meal AND then volunteer ...more
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it
As someone who works in a ministry that focuses on forming relationships with people experiencing homelessness, this book was relatable. The books brought up stories that were very similar to my experiences which was cool. I do have to say though that she sometimes uses overly flowery language to describe her theology that muddles rather than clarifies. She focuses in on "the boyfriend" but doesn't take enough time explaining why she chooses that term instead of the traditional "father" metaphor ...more
Jamie Howison
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Okay, I need to start by saying that as soon as Sara Miles started referring to Jesus as "the Boyfriend" I found myself a bit distanced from the book. Her take on it is that she began to use "Boyfriend" as "a colloquial version of the ancient name of 'Bridegroom' for Jesus, but it felt more personal - and funny, if a little disturbing, because that's how Jesus is." Don't get me wrong; I think that funny and disturbing are not at all bad things in a book of theology (I am a Robert Capon devotee, ...more
Robin Groothuis
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm at a place where I am absolutely skeptical about all the crap we think we have to "have" or "do" or "look like" in order to be a Christian in our culture. The one thing we are SUPPOSED to do is the one thing we just suck at - really love each other. That's what this book is about. It never fails that the best teachers of love are the ones that are the most busted up, oppressed, seeming losers of us. But if we really read the Bible, that's exactly who Jesus came for and he was so good at it b ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
When I started this book I thought "oh great, a preachy preacher who is going to tell me how awesome she is" BUT I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not what this book was about. It is all about trying to live your life according to what you believe and simply doing what you can for others. Most of it is described through her work in a food pantry. The analogies with food are really insightful.

The book itself appeals to a wide audience and not just those who consider themselves relig
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I love how in love the author is with Jesus and I totally agree with her about how we are Jesus's hands and feet to the lost, hungry and hurting world. I do believe that Jesus is the only way He is the truth and the life. Healing sometimes happens here on earth but sometimes it happens in heaven. I know we can have assurance that if you ask for forgiveness and believe that Jesus is the son of God, and that He is welcomed as your saviour into your life you can have eternal life with him and God i ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion, memoir
Although definitely not as powerful as her first work, Take This Bread, Sara Miles' passionate love of God still leaps off the page, as does her passion for serving him by serving others--for her there is no distinction between handing out groceries to a woman at a food pantry and handing out groceries to Jesus himself (who she lovingly refers to as "the Boyfriend"). The message of these essays is that God has given us the power to feed, heal, forgive, raise the dead, and show compassion and mer ...more
Sep 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Sara Miles is an amazing person. She believes strongly in following Jesus' example of love and seeing God in everyone and acts on this belief in everything she does. In this book she tells engaging stories of despair and hope from Saint Gregory's food pantry and honestly reflects on her own life. While I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I read it, I was disappointed because I didn't think it was as good as her first book (Take This Bread.) In MBCC book group we discussed how the book seems like a s ...more
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Feed my people" isn't just a saying of Jesus found in the New Testament - it's an admonition for us to to ensure all God's people are provided for. Sara Miles has devoted much of her life to this, and this book tells part of her story. Sometimes funny and sometimes sad, this book is at all times a look at how to accept the challenge Christ has laid before us and work to care for the afflicted, the ill, the downtrodden, the lonely, the abused. Throughout it all, Miles continually sees the face o ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Healing with Jesus isn't New Age-y and gentle. It is frequently about pain: which might explain, I realized, why Jesus often asks the desperate people who come to him, 'Do you want to be well?' Do you want to be well if getting well hurts? Do you want to be well if it separates you from your old identity! Do you want to be well more than you want to stay the same? Real healing means, more than anything, following the truth: and thus a call to change and conversion." This book in a nutshell. Hea ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While I didn't find this one as compelling as Take This Bread, I still found myself enraptured with Sara Miles and her story. She is such a gifted writer and does a great job of describing the people in her life and the ministry that she does with them. Here, I really liked her thoughts on prayer and her thoughts on the experience of doing pastoral care. She really got to me with those two thoughts. I hope she continues to write about her life in ministry. She really needs to. I will definitely ...more
This book will require a few rereads. Miles has a lot to say about her faith and what she thinks Jesus had to say to his followers. I believe Miles is on the right track - we do need to feed and heal each other without worrying about the"rules". However, that is hard for many of us. We find it easier to follow the rules than to just barge ahead.

Fortunately, Sara Miles is barging ahead of all us - so if we pay attention to here, we should be in better shape.

I will be writing more here after I rer
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Practicing Resurrection: A Memoir of Work, Doubt, Discernment, and Moments of Grace
  • Stalking the Divine
  • Disquiet Time: Rants and Reflections on the Good Book by the Skeptical, the Faithful, and a Few Scoundrels
  • The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier
  • Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
  • Salvation on the Small Screen: 24 Hours of Christian Television
  • This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers
  • The Attentive Life: Discerning God's Presence in All Things
  • Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White: Thoughts on Religion, Morality, and Politics
  • Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (The Ancient Practices )
  • Yearnings: Embracing the Sacred Messiness of Life
  • Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens
  • Firstlight: The Early Inspirational Writings of Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church
  • The Spirit of Food: Thirty-Four Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God
  • Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation
  • Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self & Society
  • My Almost Certainly Real Imaginary Jesus
See similar books…
Sara Miles is the founder and director of The Food Pantry, and serves as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her other books include "Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion," and her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Salon, and on National Public Radio.