Justin McRoberts has been a vital voice in my own spiritual formation for many years. I was first introduced to him through his music as an unwitting adolescent. These songs quickly became the words that my heart was longing to sing but couldn’t find the words for. Having had the opportunity to see Justin perform live on multiple occasions since then, his voice continues to point out numerous areas in my life where God wants to speak. He continues to create through his life, music, podcast, and books, conveying an attitude of faith and life that I long to have take root. I’m incredibly thankful for Justin’s voice and his ability to open peoples’ eyes to what God is doing in the world.
Whimsical, convicting, redemptive, candid, hopeful, humble—even heart retching at times—CMYK shows how life together is not painstaking and perfect, but, in many ways, pain giving and yet remarkably good when lived and worked together. Spoken through music, visual art, story, and personal letters, this project has more dimensions to it than your typical book. When you allow every aspect of it to surround you, it’s unclear if you should laugh, cry, sing or just bask in the Truth that is being told. The stories shared are far more than anecdotes to inspire us into some form of limited action, though it absolutely calls us to action! With a prophetic voice, McRoberts tells the brutal truth of the human condition and points us to a Creator and a story of the future “that we expect can and will be fulfilled.”
CMYK discusses three underlying aspects of life that are rarely talked about: “the necessary role of relationship in the formation of identity, the essential role of darkness in finding clarity, [and] the basic commonality of seemingly incompatible images.” This is poignantly conveyed through the various mediums used for this project. It also shines a light on the fact that all things belong to God! Wrapped in grace, this book speaks of the atrocities of the world, not to explain them away, but to live through them—seeing God in every step of the way.
A Beautiful and Meaningful Life is Lived and Worked Together
One of the more endearing qualities of CMYK is the inability to separate the songs and stories from the relationships they stem from. It makes clear that “a beautiful and meaningful life is lived and worked together.” McRoberts allows God to speak through his own audacious life as he has crafted a personal and modern equivalent to Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s treasured classic, Life Together. Whether through an account of courting his wife or friends lost along the way, McRoberts shows us the beauty that is living out of the Truth of Jesus Christ together. CMYK is a must-read for everyone seeking after God or honestly struggles with their spiritual existence. Not for instruction or exegesis, but for the rawness and humility of McRoberts’s own faith journey.
Because, it’s not just his story, but a part of the one we’re all in together.