Rosaria Butterfield wrote that The Creaking on the Stairs by Mez McConnell “is the most disturbing book that I have ever read.” She followed that by adding: “I cannot recommend it highly enough.” And I can only echo her comments on both counts. It is as profoundly helpful as it is disturbing. And that is saying a lot.
The book itself is not arranged as an autobiography though it contains much which is auto-biographical from Mez. Most chapters contain enough recollections to let you in on the heart-rending abuse Mez suffered on every level. Physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Yet it is done in such a way as to avoid any hint of prurience, nor crossing over into either bitterness, self-pity or needless gory detail.
It is raw.
But it is also marked by a relentless appeal to sound, Biblical theology terminating always on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Grace colors every page.
Mez knows the hidden truth that only the redeemed can safely revisit the depths of their own and other’s sins if it is done in the light of the Cross. And so his writing can be so unsparing in revealing the hideousness of sin – because an abounding grace prevents that view from eclipsing the light.
This book will not satisfy the bloodlust of the drive-by gawker. He does not dwell on nor traffic in the salacious. But I cannot help but think that it can and will give other abuse victims much-needed commiseration and validation while preventing them from wallowing in self-pity, or other sinful responses to the sins perpetrated upon them.
It is not for the faint of heart.
But it is for the wickedly shattered heart. And it is so Gospel-centered that one cannot help but be staggered by how our sovereign God can bring such unspeakable goodness out of the worst the World, the Flesh and the Devil can do.
If you are an abuse survivor, you need to read this book.
If you love an abuse survivor, you need to read this book.
If you minister to abuse survivors – as all pastors necessarily do – wittingly or unwittingly – you need to read this book.
And if you are or have been an abuser yourself – you need to read this book.
Even if abuse is completely outside the orbit of your personal experience – you need to read this book.
The framework of sound theology so practically, clearly and accessibly laid out cannot help but be a benefit in organizing your own thought process. Gaining this level of theological thinking as applicable to everyday life is truly a gift this book can help impart.
There are no trite answers.
Disturbing and glorious.
Buy it. Read it. Weep. And rejoice.