Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith

Grace (Eventually)
Anne Lamott
Monday, Mar 27, 2017

I love Anne Lamott. Operating Instructions was my gateway book. Then I read Blue Shoe. And, as a wannabe writer, I’ve read Bird by Bird more than once.

But as a spiritually ambivalent, confused, semi-recovering Catholic, I could never quite bring myself to try any of her faith-based books. Don’t get me wrong . . . I’ve read and loved books with very pointed religious messages, for example Buddhist Boot Camp and Mercy in the City. I’ve even read, start to finish, religious books I didn’t like, such as Angry Conversations with God.

I think I was hesitant because I didn’t want to risk losing Anne Lamott to . . . to . . . to what? The Jesus freaks? The radical Christians? What if she turns out to be preachy and self-righteous? Superior and condescending? My God, what if she tries to save me?

I needn’t have worried. Lamott is navigating the same world and obstacles as you and I, she just does so with a strong faith and good friends to see her along the way. In essays covering topics ranging from apologizing for an impulsive and snarky email, to sitting on a panel and speaking out in support of women's health issues at a Catholic-based conference, and reflecting on her drug-fueled past mistakes, Lamott shares her gift for asking for, and receiving, forgiveness.

In the end neither her spirituality, nor my lack of it, created a roadblock to understanding. In fact, we’re both just searching, hoping to “stop feeling as if [we’d] been abandoned here on earth with no explanation.”

Written by Helen H.

Fun fact: I have a collection of really bad pottery that I make in my free time.