Monday, March 15, 2010

Traveling Mercies


I've been reading pretty much the greatest book I've ever read on life called "Traveling Mercies" by Anne Lamott.

I don't know whether it is really the greatest book or not. But it has fit like a glove or a well-worn pair of jeans for the last month of my life. I am so grateful for its presence in my head, heart and soul.
*it might in fact NOT be a great fit for you. Anne Lamott is a pretty edgy writer and so I tread carefully in my recommendation. I have been in a particular place where this book was fantastic. Don't think I'm insane if you hate it.

I borrowed it from the library. Was loving it and mad that I couldn't underline things in it (cause it was a library book) so I went to buy it. And I bought another copy. I am pretty sure I will be buying several copies this year. Watch out!

Anyway, I read this paragraph today and it took my breath away:

"This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we're most sure that love can't conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds...But when someone enters that valley with you, that mud, it somehow saves you again... All that mud and a old friend work like a tenderizing mallet. Where before there had been tough fibers, hardness, and held breath, now there were mud, dirt, water, mess-and I felt soft and clean."

I know that God is love and He is in the business of constantly pursuing us even when we are at our most unlovely. He can't go against his own nature. So he is going to keep after it. And he is going to use others to remind us of our own loveliness and worthiness over and over again.

Will we have the ears to listen? The eyes to see the ones who are loving us?
Who is going into the valley with you?
Are you going into the valley with someone who needs you?

The heart that
breaks open can
contain the
whole universe.
-Joanna Macy

3 comments:

robin said...

it might be my favorite book EVER. next to the Bible of course cause I be holy like dat.

Anonymous said...

omg...one of my favorite writers of all times...i buy "traveling mercies" and "grace, eventually" and give them away...have read most of her books and will reread forever!...read "plan b"...btw, she would love your new nose ring!..sandy

ktbtodd said...

I absolutely LOVE that book...and her others, too. She speaks right to me where I am in life at so many different times and in so many different ways. Thanks for posting this today...it sort of fits me where I am right now.