I have made my own, personal book challenge, to read all of Anne Lamott’s writings. Those who have been inspired, uplifted, comforted, challenged or angered by her essays will automatically understand why I would want to do this. For readers new to Lamott, your challenge/mission (“should you accept it”) is to try one book of her essays and “pick a book, any book.”
Our local library had Lamott’s 2007 edition of Grace (Eventually), subtitled, “Thoughts on Faith” in large print. Who among you wouldn’t pick it up as a good place to start my challenge? The back of the book reads as follows:
“The world, the community, the family, the heart: these are the beautiful and complicated arenas in which our lives unfold. Wherever you look, there’s trouble and wonder, pain and beauty, restoration and darkness. Yet if you look carefully, in nature or in the kitchen, in ordinariness or in mystery, beyond the emotional muck we all slug through, you’ll find it eventually: a path, some light to see by, in other words, grace. Here, Anne Lamott describes how she copes with the missteps, detours, and roadblocks in her walk of faith.”
Having recently dealt with a few issues of faith, this was the book that perhaps could strengthen mine. I loved and plan to steal her description of how she taught a children’s Sunday school class using The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem as a way to write our worries out as prayer requests on a slip of paper as a way of “Letting go.” The children had many “worries” to record, and when Lamott asked the assistant teacher if she had anything to add, the assistant said, “Maybe turning things over is not the solution to everything, but…You do what you can. Then you get out of the way because you’re not the one who does the work.” This is just one example of something that set me to thinking in these very readable essays.
I am undertaking other challenges and interests currently, so I am not setting a due date or a time limit on when I hope to complete my reading of Lamott; besides, she just keeps writing.