Anne Lamott on Praying for Spiritual Signs

fallRecently I’ve been enjoying this song by Colbie Callait.

And, this morning I stumbled on an interesting Facebook Post from Anne Lamott. I think it fits with the month of remembrances and thanksgiving.

She wrote it on August 9, Just last summer.

I love the idea of God’s grace being available in an ATM.

Every morning these days, you have to ask yourself, What the hell IS it all about, Alfie? Or you pray for a sign that you absolutely cannot miss or misinterpret, the tiniest hint of direction and assurance.

Well? I got one.

It has been one of the worst week in years, and that’s saying something. You know exactly what I’m talking about, no matter how much you love your life and your pit crew; no matter how hard you strive to present a good face. It is so hard here. It’s like Old Yeller meets the Hunger Games; plus the parking is terrible.

Under the best circumstances, we are a nutty and sometimes violent species, on an extremely dangerous piece of land.

But one of the saddest things happened. We had to put my darling old dog Lily down. She died peacefully at home in my son Sam’s arms on Wednesday.

I think she was the closest I’ll come, on this side of eternity, to experiencing the direct love of the divine. You may know the feeling.

Through this love, Sam and I came through. We cried a lot, but agreed to let our hearts stay broken for a while, because that is how light, grace and healing can get in, through the armor.

The next morning, I took Lily’s beloved ne’er-do-well husband Bodhi for a walk. I adore him, but he has tiny mental issues, such as aggression, and having eaten entire chickens, and 24 muffins once. Then, too sad to stay at home without Lily, we went out for a bite.

After eating sandwiches in the car, we headed home. I was disoriented, and so far behind on my daily life, after a month of Lily in decline, that Sam frequently consults A Place for Mom online. But a block from home, I got that Holy Spirit nudge, a tug on my sleeve, which urged me, as it often does, “Stop.” It’s given up on nuance.

They say that when all else fails, follow instructions. The nudge on my heart said, “Go to your friend’s kid’s school.” So I said, “Okay,” the fourth great prayer.

My closest friend’s child, who has been through the ringer, the On Beyond Zebra ringer, starts kindergarten soon, but the friend has been on Total Fucking Overwhelm (TF0). She has not entirely gotten him enrolled, and the school’s website had conflicting info on how to do this. And, of course, no one is in the office, because it is August, which was one of the two biggest mistakes God made–August, and snakes. So we drove to the school.

There was one car in the parking lot and a woman climbing into it. Then some janitors ran into view and called to her–had she locked their lunches in the office? She had–Oops, to quote Rick Perry. So she got out, to unlock the office. I asked if I cd run along beside her, like a little dog, and ask a quick question. “Fire away!” she said. I told her about this boy, and asked all our main questions. She was so helpful. I thanked her, and asked if she worked in the office.

“Yes,” she said. “I’m the new principal.”

Of course she was the new principal, because God is such a show-off. Call this energy the Divine It, or Ed. Whatever works.

“Wow,” I said, bowing my head.

“Look,” she continued, “the easiest thing is probably for me to just give your friend my cell phone number.”

I said, “Okay,” on the verge of laughter and tears. “Thank you.”

Bodhi and I went home and called our friend. “You better sit down,” I told the mom. “I think we got some kind of Inbreaking.”

I told the mom my story, about how we’d somehow ended up at the Grace ATM, and how holy spirit had saved the day.

“Yeah,” she agreed. “Or Lily.”

I gave her the new principal’s cell phone number. Then Bodhi and I went to read the new People, and took a nice morning nap, feeling a little bit better, which is a miracle.
from FB page Suspended Coffees

Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor

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“Grace is God’s unmerited favor.”

I’m going to go ahead and claim that I wrote that sentence, even though it is part of my six month old scribbled notes that I made while on Wikki (of all places). I was working on a tab for this blog which explains why I would pick an often uncute theme: grace.

Wait! Red light! Am I tiptoeing around the stickiest theological debate of all time – for me anyway: Exactly where do toil and grace meet?

Know what I mean (jellybean)?

And…who, how, when and where is grace found? And why…of course we ask over and over, is toil and suffering so often what we associate with the experience of God being in our midst?

Let’s just put that on the chalkboard for now:

“Def.: Grace = God in our midst.”

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So, let me explain

Tangent: here’s why I’m bogging down your computer with huge photos:

 

I just want to.

Want to bog mine down anyway. I was lucky enough to have scored a job for a couple of months at the end of the school year and that was a really wonderful experience. My title was “Communication Coach” for a Kindergarten student who is hard of hearing.

If I can get back into a routine to blog more often, I’d love to share more about my experience. It was just what I didn’t know I was praying for.

The huge pictures in this post? Because as soon as I signed my contract, I treated myself to a new printer that has a scanner so that I can try and organize old photos.

So far, what I have is an office and moving boxes that are a jumble of…

a jumble. In a room with stinky carpet.

(insert music or images that lead you to toil and suffer,

if my friend, you are on my side…)

I am still committed to try and not write more than a few hundred words per post, but for now, as I brush away some midlife cobwebs, I need to see these snippets in biggie size. Image

“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up on such grace.

What you need is

someone to take hold of you –

gently, with love,

and hand your life back to you.”

 

~ Tennessee Williams

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