Saturday, October 6, 2007
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
Traveling Mercies is one of the first books that I read with a pencil in my hand, by choice. I underlined and wrote quotes on the inside of the back cover because there were so many things that I wanted to remember.
This is a book of essays taken from Anne's life. That in itself is not remarkable - what is remarkable is the way she interacts with the Lord as she walks through her life. It isn't the pious, everything is peachy relationships that authors sometimes portray. Instead - it's life. She is messy and real and jealous and negative and nasty and profound all in the same moment. And God is there too!
Her honesty was what slapped me in the face again and again. I have stayed away from most churchy books, because I read them and fall so short of the way the writers see God. Anne seems to see the very same God I do!
The other thing I kept thinking about is - she was a writer before she was a 'christian author.' That seems to take her essays to a completely different place..
Here are some of my random quotes...
"After we jump into the darkness of the unknown, faith lets us believe we either land on solid ground, or learn to fly."
Talking about making the decision to become a christian..."I held my breath- and then I crossed over."
Recalling a story of a childhood friend who had become lost - a policman was driving the little girl around town and she didn't recognize anything until she saw her church...
"This is my church and I can always find my way home from here."
"Church is a path and a little light to see by."
Her pastor's words on faith...
"We in our faith work stumble along toward where we think we're supposed to go, bumbling along, and here is what's so amazing---we end up getting exactly where we're supposed to be."
"I can't imagine anything but music that could have brought about this alchemy. Maybe it's because music is about as physical as it gets: your essential rhythm is your heartbeat; your essential sound, the breath. We're walking temples of noise, and when you add teneder hearts to this mix, it somehow lets us meet in places we couldn't get to any other way."
I loved her irreverant talks with God - her notes written on scraps of paper and placed in God's in box - and replaced when he hadn't gotten around to answering her. It all made God so real - so here - so now.
Hers is a faith that wraps in and around herself and is her - not one that is shined and looked at and admired on the shelf. Hers gets a bit dirty and scuffed from throwing it on the ground in moments of frustration. But, the dents and scratches guide her on to new places. That's the faith I want to learn to wear!!
I would strongly recommend this!!