“7” by Jen Hatmaker is a daringly original book that calls out society on their need for excess. In this novel, Hatmaker discovers there is an overwhelming need for things in her life and not enough desire for Jesus. If I had to guess, I would say that after an honest look at our own lives, we would say that we have similar desires, even if we refuse to admit it. During the seven month experiment of 7, Jen Hatmaker goes on a fast from seven different idols in her life including food, clothes, spending, waste, possessions, media and stress. While the main focus of this book is taking time to be uncomfortable to get closer to Jesus, a main underlying theme is taking care of those in bondage around us. Whether their bondage looks like poverty, hunger, or human trafficking Hatmaker is taking a stand to take care of those around her. In her month of fasting from food, her and her “council” make a point to consciously be praying for those who are not going hungry by choice. In the month she fasts from possessions she gives away hundreds and hundreds of items from her house to people who are less fortunate and need it more than she does. She also spends time speaking about how important it is to make sure the items you purchase are fair trade.
As far as tending creation, Hatmaker partners with an organization called Karpophoreo Project who utilize homeless men and women across the country and teach them how to cultivate a plot and grow crops in volunteers backyards. With this project, the homeowners are able to retain half of the crops and the other half goes to farmers markets where the homeless servants keep the profits.
There is so much to this book that it’s hard to even begin to summarize. All I can say is this is a must read book. With notes on how to help fight human trafficking, assist in the refugee crisis, take care of the earth, and get closer to Jesus, there is no way this book could get better. There is great value in living simply, and if you are looking for some practical ways to grow in your relationship with the Lord, become more green, and fight excess this is the book for you.