In the first of a planned series, McCutchen recounts coming face to face with God, Jesus, angels, demons and other visions while spending time at a strange church that she visits with her sister.
Having moved through a series of breakups, job losses and injuries, McCutchen was immediately embraced by the church’s “dirty hippies” and their pastor, who offered her free room and board in exchange for cleaning the church building. This cleanup job soon involved glitter from heaven and puddles of water appearing on the church floors, and her visions included whirlwinds and other supernatural sights. McCutchen’s visions grow stranger and more alarming as the people at her church, especially the pastor, become more threatening, controlling and cultlike. At one point, the pastor even forbids her to speak, and in response, she goes on a 40-day fast. During this imposed silence, McCutchen reflects, “That’s why I was so glad that God, Jesus, and the angels started talking to me, because no one else wanted to.” It is statements like this that make McCutchen’s memoir both moving and disturbing. She doesn’t seem to question where her visions come from, nor does she make much effort to interpret or glean lessons from them, which may make the book difficult to connect with. Similarly, there is little examination of the church’s strange social hierarchy, so making sense of her unique story can be difficult. The narrative and prose are scattered, panicked and urgent, and while McCutchen’s relationship with God is very personal, the book does little to communicate what her relationship with God means in light of these visions. This is no doubt a story McCutchen desperately needed to tell, and while it’s certainly intriguing, readers are left on the outside.
Captivating and concerning, but more details would be welcome.