Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother."Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness. Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.


Reviewed: 2018-07-30
I'm not religious, however, I am open to reading good books regardless of the genre. I'd heard great things about Anne Lamott's writing and so I bought this book years ago when I saw it in the bargain section. 

There were several issues I had with this book, and none of it had to do with religion or finding g(G)od. The biggest issue I had with this book was when her son's friend wanted to cancel a sleep over. The boy was tired and he wanted to spend a quiet night with his mother. What an amazing opportunity to teach her son empathy. For a child to be able to say that he needed a quiet night, and then to be guilt tripped into keeping the date was horrible. There were so many times when I questioned when exactly g(G)od entered into her thinking. The fight with the mom who was giving her son reading books, the thoughts of violence is troubling. I have a temper, but I've only had some of the thoughts she described when I was on medication I NEVER should be been taking. 

If this were any month other than December, when I can see how close I am to my goal of books read, I would have stopped reading this and grabbed another. The only reason I finished this book is because I'm so close to my goal and then end of the year.


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