Book Review | Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller

scary close coverDonald Miller is on a search again for deepening human value and connection.  In his newest read, he readily admitted he had issues within himself that were preventing him from connecting with others in a beneficial way.  This book expounds on the journey he took to answer some deep questions about his struggle, and how he came to process his need to just live instead of pleasing everyone.  Through counseling with trusted friends, observing interactions between other friends and their home lives, and a program through Onsite (, he was able to identify some clear reasons with his inability to connect.

One thing he said that really hit me, was “Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”  To me, it was pretty clear-cut and profound, but I’m not sure even Donald realized how close to his sharing of the gospel he came!  Donald made a remark that should simply point us to the cross, and then to the saving grace of Jesus and why we extend that same grace to others.

Prior to this revelation, he was unable to receive love from his new fiance, Betsy, and his rejection of her attempts was proof of him wearing a mask that was shown for the purpose of keeping his true self safe.  He couldn’t be vulnerable.  I can’t say why, as that would be a breach of your reason to read the book.  But what I can say is that there is a part of us all that can identify with wearing masks to stay safe in front of people we think have expectations for us.  And instead of outward approval, we just need grace.

This book reads as a philosophical memoir, as Donald shares personal conversations, interactions and revelations.  He admits to some insights coming from his faith and the Bible, but predominantly he comes to conclusions based on books he’s read that describe theories from other men in the same emotional mature state.

It left me wanting to sit down with Donald myself.  I would love to share that while I appreciated his growth stages, and I loved that he was finally able to take off the mask to be exposed for the man he really is, I want to share with him who Jesus really is.  It seems like some of the roadblocks he was encountering could simply be changed by deepening his reading of the Word, and trusting in God instead of feeling like he has to have a plan for everything.  Then again, maybe Donald hasn’t had his light bulb a-ha moment yet.  Maybe he’s wading into the water with this book, which ends on his wedding day, and now, God will be tugging on his heart as he seeks to serve his wife in a godly manner.  Maybe Donald will begin to seek God differently and realize that worldly wisdom, though helpful at times, will always leave us wanting something even deeper than counseling sessions and ninety-day business plans.  Overall, I appreciate his honesty, simple insights, basic truths and his ability to be transparent in his journey.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers ( book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 ( “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”