This provocative, inspirational, and heartbreaking collection of true-life tales from megachurch counseling centers, drug rehabs, and graveyard shifts on the crisis-response team explores the toughest and darkest times of people’s lives. J. M. Blaine—a semiagnostic, evangelical absurdist, existential Christian, and licensed psychotherapist—writes with deep concern for the depressed, the discouraged, and the disillusioned in this gritty, ragged memoir of his time spent guiding those through messy lives. The personal insights, parables, and often unbelievable stories offer a street-level vision of charity, as Blaine discovers that there are no easy answers for those struggling to find meaning, attain peace, and live in grace.
J. M. Blaine is nonfiction editor of the Los Angeles literary collective the Nervous Breakdown, feature writer for a popular street paper, the Nashville Contributor, and a former Contributor to the religious satire magazine, the Wittenburg Door. He holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is a nationally certified psychotherapist. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
"'Sometimes I wonder if magical thinking is my alcohol,' writes Blaine, a crisis interventionist in Nashville, in this self-aware, literate memoir of adventures in the para-shrink trade . . . a glimpse into a world that few readers know firsthand." —Kirkus Reviews (February 2013)
"Gorgeous, brilliantly written, deeply moving, funny as f-bomb, life-affirming and just plain stunning. J.M. Blaine's debut will blow you away." —Augusten Burroughs, author, Running with Scissors
"Super stylized but absolutely authentic, these stories are told visually and with a musicality that punctuates the humor and heartbreak of crisis work and its haunting side effects." —Tony Shaff, filmmaker/television producer, MTV Networks
"With pitch-perfect prose filled with raw heart and humor, Midnight, Jesus & Me reveals the hole in all of us that cannot be filled with anything but Divine love." —Jolina Petersheim, author, The Outcast
"If Christianity has become a stale institution, then Jamie Blaine's Midnight, Jesus & Me might be the perfect antidote. A raw reminder of the Gospel's power." — Philip Gulley, bestselling author, If the Church Were Christian
"Blaine shines a 'there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I' light on the hidden world of psychiatric crisis response —leavened with much-needed humor — in a manner that can't help but engender empathy and compassion." —Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author, The Comfort of Lies and The Murderer’s Daughters
"A stupendous achievement. Exhilarating, hilarious, a virtuosic exploration of mental illness in America. Seething with fury and frustration, Blaine captures the reader with great conviction." —Jeff Ragsdale, activist and author of Jeff, One Lonely Guy
"Blaine's got the gift that all great storytellers have — the ability to convey the crush of emotions in the tiniest of details. He renders otherwise ordinary people in resplendent detail, painting vignettes in heart-stopping strokes." — Joe Daly, Classic Rock magazine