Monday, June 2, 2014

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott

From Goodreads:

From the bestselling author of Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird comes a chronicle of faith and spirituality that is at once tough, personal, affectionate, wise and very funny. With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith. In a narrative spiced with stories and scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. She shows us the myriad ways in which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life and exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Whether writing about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church or the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation.

My friend RA recommended this one to me after a long series of emails between us about faith and the struggles I've had over the past four years. I hadn't heard of Anne Lamott but apparently she's actually kind of well known, which just goes to show you how much of a bubble I live in.

I found her memoir incredibly eye-opening. She has a deep Christian faith but she approaches it from the complete opposite direction of most of the uber-conservative religious types I know. She's a sort of hippie liberal with dreadlocks who is all about seeing Christ in the brokenness. I wonder if she ended up there because of how hard she had to work to get where she is. She was a drug addict who ended up a single mother in deep poverty. She accepts the brokenness in others because she sees it in herself and knows where it can take you.

Lots of good thinking came from this one.