A Prayer for Orion
A Son's Addiction and a Mother's Love
by Katherine James
Pub Date 28 Jan 2020
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"A Prayer for Orion is one of the most important books of our time. With heartbreaking honesty and wide-eyed clarity, James offers us an intimate view of the opioid crisis. Her vulnerability, compassion, and sagacious insight confront our tendency to judge or distance ourselves from addicts—and instead invite us to lean in and love."
-Dorothy Littell Greco, writer and author of Making Marriage Beautiful
"With absolutely piercing prose, Katherine James shows us not only how to write but she also gently, vulnerably shows us how to pray, to trust, and to love even when walking through pain and suffering. I ate it up in two days! A Prayer for Orion is about more than a son's addiction or a mother's love—it is about the relentless love of God, who is present right through whatever we imagine as the very worst. Read it, let it move around your heart and propel you to love your people, your place, and your own lost boys."
-Ashley Hales, author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs and host of the Finding Holy podcast
"Kate James has done something most unusual. In her riveting memoir about her son's life-and-death battle with heroin, she captivates your heart and educates you at the same time. Every chapter left me eager for more. Spiritual, yet far from preachy, James created a powerful combination of raw authenticity with hope-filled truth. A Prayer for Orion promises to enlighten the reader while giving hope to weary parents who are walking a similar path."
-Dena Yohe, author of You Are Not Alone and cofounder of Hope for Hurting Parents
"Baldly, bravely, beautifully told, A Prayer for Orion invites readers to see faith in its lived-in condition, how it can traffic in confusion as much as confidence. As Kate James understands from her son's story of addiction, to know God is not to be spared the grief of this broken world. It is, however, to watch hope—as small and inconspicuous as Elijah's cloud—grow heavier with rain. Inviting us to surrender every what if? for the settled peace of even if, this book is for everyone struggling to love someone well."
-Jen Pollock Michel, author of Surprised by Paradox
"A Prayer for Orion is a memoir of sobering truth. James's incisive prose unflinchingly cuts to the core and reveals an incandescent, searing, heartbreaking-yet-tender story that will touch lives, especially those impacted by addiction. This book tells the truth, and in doing so it allows others to both hope and heal."
-Alia Joy, author of Glorious Weakness: Discovering God in All We Lack
"A Prayer for Orion is more than the story of Sweetboy's battle with heroin addiction. Katherine James gives us a rare and raw glimpse of the way addiction traumatizes, distorts reality, and decimates individuals, families, and communities. There is a common phase in twelve-step groups: 'All addictions are cunning, baffling, powerful, and insidious.' Yet Katherine exquisitely and vulnerably shares how there is One who is wiser, more powerful, and persevering. Whether explicitly stated or not, we see how Jesus loves, cares for, and walks with Sweetboy, his friends, and Katherine's family even as they journey through the valley of the shadow of death. A Prayer for Orion is a must-read for those of us who are addicts or know one. It will remind us that we are deeply loved, we are not alone, and in Christ there always hope."
-Sheila Wise Rowe, author of Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience, counselor and founder of The Rehoboth House