“An open, merciful heart is a setup for pain, shame and being mocked.” – Anne Lamott (pg 8)
Mercy, blessed mercy, is the only way any of us will get out of this thing alive… or at least… less dead, emotionally-speaking that is.
The subtitle of the book is “Rediscovering Mercy” and BOY, OH BOY, do we need some of *that* right now!
Lamott is someone I have admired from afar for years. Her writing is prolific (list of her books on Amazon) as is her name.
In 2018 … I think it was that year? … I created a vision board, as I do every year. On it, I had a “review” of my novel from “Lamott”. I don’t know her personally and she didn’t actually write it… but a girl can dream! Right?
Also, my actual novel, while complete, is still sitting in the ether of iCloud, which sounds way more mystical than it is. Maybe this year is the year I’ll be published!?!
This little book (under 200 pages) is rich in wisdom, spirituality and sensitivity. It also has some “punch in the gut” reality checks that will leave you breathless.
Like this: “I’m not sure I recognize the ever-presence of mercy anymore, the divine and the human; the messy, crippled, transforming, heartbreaking, lovely, devastating presence of mercy. But I have come to believe that I am starving to death for it, and my world is, too.”
Such powerful truth! I certainly agree. Do you?
As Lamott reminds us (deep in the book – pg 74), Carl Jung said “most painful issues can’t be solved – they can only be outgrown, but that takes time and deep work.”
Is our world set up for time and deep work?
NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST.
Books like this remind us to STOP, find a chair in front of the fireplace (in the winter) or beside an open window (in the spring), and … read … think … reminisce … breathe …
Lamott goes on to say that life… is scary. It just IS. And it HAS BEEN for all time and for all creatures.
Ain’t it the truth?
And really, aren’t you tired of (some) people saying that we shouldn’t be scared? Cuz… it’s *seriously* very scary! Right now, especially. <<< And in saying that, I feel a little foolish. Our ancestors had it pretty-darned scary, what with having to birth children, clean wounds, and pull their own teeth before modernized medicine. Never mind the World Wars, mass killings and … going even further back … duels and dinosaurs. My point is, it’s *always* been scary, this living thing. Lamott knows that, too. It’s discussed throughout this (and her other) book(s).
She also says – and I found this very interesting – that God doesn’t give us answers.
This totally flies in the face of evangelical Christianity.
She says – and I agree – that God gives us grace and mercy instead.
End of story.
After a lifetime of trying to find out what and who God is… Lamott (and I) have come to our own conclusions. And, I love that!
One of the things I love about Lamott is her ability to weave together spiritual beliefs and psychological modalities.
She and I share that path.
In the past, I’ve tried to pull away from spiritual things but cannot… because they cannot be pulled away from me. It is woven into the fabric of my BEING.
It all makes perfect sense to me.
So then, mercy is a part of who we are, even when others try to stomp it down … or we try to hide it, lest we be (as the quote says above) hurt, shamed or mocked for it.
That works for me! You?
This book is a gem and another I will set at my bedside. In fact, I need a special little bookshelf for these kinds of books, which have become favorites of mine.