Creaking on the Stairs

CREAKING ON THE STAIRS: Finding faith in God through Childhood Abuse

Mez McConnell

Christian Focus. 230 pages. 

ISBN: 978-1-5271-0441-9

This book surprised me. The quote on the front stated: ‘the most disturbing book that I have ever read.’ I expected a harrowing account of childhood abuse and an account of how Mez came to find rescue and hope in Christ. That is there, but this book is not an autobiography. It is a gospel presentation recounted through the experience of someone who has suffered and struggled. It is brutally honest. Mez has wrestled with the implications of the gospel. Forgiveness is not cheap, and Mez outlines his battles with understanding grace. He longs for evil to be punished, but as he comes to know the profound truth of the cross, he can say of his abuser: ‘she does not need my forgiveness any more than I need her repentance. We both need the former from Him, and He requires the latter from us.’ 

Mez has written this book with a heart for the lost. For those wrecked by childhood trauma, he shows how, through the truth of the gospel, lives can be rebuilt. Astonishingly he has also written this: 'for perpetrators of such vile acts they wonder if their dark deeds will ever be discovered’. Included at the back is an interview with a convicted paedophile who came to Christ in prison who heartbreakingly says: ‘There is no help for paedophiles. There are just accusations, so it is hard to come forward.’ This is a book we could give and should pass on to others who are struggling with pasts that overwhelm them. It is an evangelistic book, and the writing style will enable many to access it - chapters are short and stories interspersed in a way that mirrors reading material online. However, this is not just an evangelistic book because Mez has an eye for the church leader and those providing pastoral care and speaks to them about what it looks like to walk alongside those who suffer. 

This book is not a misery memoir; it is full of good news. It is a declaration that despite our dark world, there is one we can turn to who is always good, always just, and brings hope even in the darkest of situations. Who do you know who needs to hear this message?

© 2022 Karen Soole