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Monday, April 30, 2007

Lamott's thoughts and stories and unconventional comparisons are good to read. And her writing is very enjoyable -- with just enough details and images to slip easily into place. The overture (prolog of sorts) sets up what is to follow, with Lamott saying that her faith journey has been rather haphazard and unorderly, but looking back there is a clarity in the ways God has moved. This looking back and seeing God at work is true in my own life, so hearing His presence reflected in the life of another is quite enjoyable.

One of my favorite things about Lamott is her blunt honesty. The chapter titled "Forgiveness" begins with "I went around saying for a long time that I am not one of those Christians heavily into forgiveness -- that I am one of the other kind." (p128) After living a life without forgiving, suddenly deciding to forgive others is a big struggle (even when one has practice forgiving others, it can still be a challenge!). She shares a story about a certain woman who she was able to learn to forgive. Not perfectly, and not so that they suddenly became best friends - but so that they could live at peace together. It seems like too often we hear stories about people who decided to be good or to stop a certain sin and suddenly everything was perfect. That does happen sometimes. But humans are works in progress. The amazing thing is that God loves us anyway. In spite of the fact that we can only learn grain by grain instead of spoonful by spoonful, usually. Lamott graciously invites the reader to enjoy and be encouraged both by her own humanity, and the God who loves her in the midst of it.

Title:Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
Author: Anne Lamott
Date published:1999
Genre: Autobiography, Spiritual
Number of pages: 272
Notes: Repeat reading


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