Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wisdom from the wild side

Friday night I attended a speaking engagement of Anne Lamott's at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church. As a friend of mine described her, "She's a wild woman." That's one way of describing her. She has had a unconventional life.

What I like about her is that she is so refreshingly honest about her faith. She doesn't hide her faults. She's not your typical evangelist (and I don't think she would call herself one at all), yet her self-deprecating, humorous stories draw people to reflect on their views of Christianity and take another look at Jesus. Above all, she believes in the power of the resurrection and it's power to change lives now as well as eternally. That's how she ended her talk friday night. After speaking an hour and a half (which seemed to fly by) she concluded with the thought, "There is just one story...the resurrection story." This is from a woman who is a best selling author and past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She knows stories.

I love her emphases on mercy and grace and paying attention for the Divine at work. As she says, "Carry a pen!" She urged us to write it down...don't think you'll remember those glimpses of grace. I could relate to that. At times she sounded like a Spiritual Director. A woman after my own heart! Be observant. Be expectant. God is at work, even in the darkest times. It's ok to be scared. It doesn't mean that you don't have faith. As Lamott said, "Courage is fear that has said it's prayers."

In these difficult times, it's a wise reminder that we should continue to seek to glimpse God at work and know that Jesus will crawl down into any hole we're in and be with us. Thank God!

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