Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rats...this is going to take some willingness...

I hadn't read Anne Lamott in 10 years. Until last week.

Thank you God; I needed her. She writes stuff like this:

"I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."

She is a recovered alkie, and it's good to have people like her in the lifeboat. She often reminds me in a witty, vulnerable and human way what's expected of us down here, what's the best route to go. Mostly I think I just needed to hear her "voice" right now ...

Out of the blue I got to hear a lot of Tom the jesuit priest in the winter, Lamott now, all sorts of godsends inbetween. I need a word on grace and I get it and another on faith and I get that and then forgiveness or patience or compassion, some of these things once fairly foreign to me, and I get that too.

And then sometimes there is just silence, a lot of that, and that's when you've really got to buckle your chinstrap. When you're used to controlling and you don't ever want to be that way again, you've got to be really aware of what you can't change, what you can, and how to know the difference. Or at least how to feel the difference. Staying out of the way seems to take up most of my time, and thank goodness for that. Seriously: those of us here in the Bureau of Spiritual Kindergarten must make God look at Himself in the mirror some mornings, shake his head and say, out loud while he decides whether or not to trim the beard, "So much for a day at the spa. I've got to go help THAT guy out again."

I really don't know a lot anymore, except that I'm loved as I am, and that makes me want to return it. Had to learn though. God is patient. He's not safe, but He's good.

More later but I should give you this graph from Lamott in her story, "A Man Who Was Mean to His Dog."

"I knew on the beach that Jesus would have stepped in to save the dog, and he would have been loving the dog beater as he did so. He would have been seeing the dog beater's need and fear. Well, I am certainly not there yet. I myself am a bit more into blame and revenge; also, I've found that self-righteousness is very comforting. But Jesus is quite clear on this point. He does not mince words. He says you even have to love the whiners, the bullies, and the poeple who think they're better than you."