NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Pause with Jesus: Encountering His Story in Everyday Life is the latest non-fiction book by veteran author Chris Maxwell, whose prolific 19-year ministry as a pastor was unexpectedly interrupted by a life-threatening battle with encephalitis. The illness left Maxwell to suffer with the long-term effects of epilepsy, which today God uses in his writing as a healing balm to bring hope to hurting people, who often feel alone and abandoned to the margins of society.
Knitted together from the biblical narratives, Pause with Jesus offers readers a poignant travelogue chronicling 30 scenes from the life of Jesus. In the book, Maxwell challenges readers to slow down, hit pause and to step into the stories of Jesus walking with His disciples, loving those unloved by others, and leaving the crowd to get time alone with the Father.
“I tell my story and talk about this real Jesus who isn’t distant or condemning,” writes Maxwell. “To me and my damaged brain, He is close. He cares. He cries with me and walks with me. I include His face and His grace in my story of wounds. In each talk, in each book, in each conversation, a story about Jesus arrives.”
From within 208 pages, a gripping portrait unfolds of a Savior who deeply loved the characters in His drama. Demonstrations of Jesus’ love differ with each scene, but uniqueness merges with unity; the same pure, profound love shines in every sighting. For example, we witness Jesus watching sinners in Matthew’s house, gazing at the impish Zacchaeus while certainly grinning, and we hear His powerful words stifle the storm.
“Yes, I had preached many sermons and written many articles on those stories,” writes Maxwell. “But this time I felt that these stories were writing me. I thought of how these stories can help rewrite the stories of others—the stories of many who feel so alone.”
In this fourth installment of Maxwell’s “Pause” series, readers are invited to ask which role do I really play in life’s drama? Do I welcome Jesus over? Do I take a walk with Him, after leaving all that I cherished? Do I pause to receive His peace and comfort in the midst of my hurried life? Do I climb a tree, desperate to see Him? Do I respond when He notices me, speaks to me, and invites Himself to dinner?
Currently, Maxwell serves as Director of Spiritual Life and Campus Pastor at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. He speaks around the world in churches, schools, retreat centers, conferences, and medical conventions. His previous books include Pause for Pastors: Finding Still Waters in the Storm of Ministry; Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time; and Pause for Moms. Maxwell and his wife, Debbie, have three grown sons.