Friday, November 16, 2012

Anne Lamott and Three Essential Prayers

Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Survival Prayers

Hot off the press, Anne Lamott's latest book is about prayer. It's small, barely over 100 pages, but every sentence packs a punch. It's one of those rare finds that churns me up inside, makes me weepy and a little uncomfortable, but also makes me feel like flinging myself forward into the wild and reassuring message like a kid launching a belly flop onto a pile of hot, clean laundry on Mom and Dad's bed. To say is "strikes a chord" doesn't quite capture it.

Favorite passages so far:
Imagining God can be so different from wishful thinking, if your spiritual experiences change your behavior over time. Have you become more generous, which is the ultimate healing? Or more patient, which is a close second? Did your world become bigger and juicier and more tender? Have you become ever so slightly kinder to yourself? This is how you tell [pg 21].
Domestic pain can be searing, and it is usually what does us in. It's almost indigestible: death, divorce, old age, drugs; brain damaged children, violence, senility, unfaithfulness. Good luck with figuring it out. It unfolds you, and you experience it, and it is so horrible and endless that you could almost give up a dozen times. But grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on [pg 47, emphasis mine].

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