Preemptive Love: A Book Review

premptiveloveDisclosures: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am also happy to say that Jeremy is a friend. I once drove 144 miles, one way, to have coffee with him in Lubbock, Texas. Finally, our family has financially supported both the Courtney family and the medical efforts of The Preemptive Love Coalition. Following, is the review I recorded at

Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time is a spell-binding, can’t-put-down book for the following reasons:

1. It focuses on something that every heart longs for: Love. The Courtneys and their crew give us a candid view of taking risks to love others. Yes, their efforts in a dangerous place that may be inaccessible to most, but their story illustrates and gives hope to those who wonder what it means to love others – even in less hostile environments. Even if I can’t go there and love like they do, can I love here like they do there? Yes! That’s one encouraging message from this book: We can practice preemptive love wherever we are!

2. It is candid. As expected, the author highlights the family’s and the organization’s victories as he weaves this spell-binding narrative. BUT, he doesn’t stop there; he also provides the reader with an insider’s view of the struggles and failures of family and organization as they learn to “love first, ask questions later.”

3. It is hopeful. In a world that is clearly broken, the Preemptive Love Coalition gives us hope that Jesus’ love and loving like Jesus can make a real difference. The stories Courtney tells of pain and suffering, of distrust and betrayal, of racism and hatred bring tears of brokenness and sorrow. BUT the stories also bring tears of hope and joy as they reveal how living and loving like Jesus brings comfort to the hurting, alleviates suffering, builds trust, extends forgiveness, and embraces the other and does good for them.

4. It is well written. Jeremy is a great story teller who helps the reader feel the sweltering summer heat, taste the sweet tea, smell the cigarette smoke that hovers over the negotiations for permission to help and partners to pay, grieve the death of a child, and feel the fear and anxiety of parents whose kids are without medical hope in a country devastated by war and politics and ethnic/religious divisions. I cried. I smiled. I praised God for helping PLC make a difference. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those who simply want a good read, to those who want to see what love in action looks like, to those who are interested in the Middle East, to those who are interested in intercultural relations, and to those who want to see transparency, honesty, and hope.

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