Many ways to kneel and kiss the ground

lamott

Anyone who knows her most likely already loves her. And anyone who doesn’t know her deserves to. The beautiful Anne Lamott is a writer of novels and non fiction books, most of which deal with life and faith, with single parenting and wretched days and unbearable presidents, and with the underlying grace that makes it all worthwhile. She is a funny, gut-wrenchingly honest, irreverent believer, and all her books feel like letters from your most charming and beloved friend.

Here is a fragment from “Plan B. Further Thoughts on Faith” (2005). The references might be dated, but the sentiment is not. Who hasn’t prayed in unlikely scenarios? Who hasn’t cursed, surrendered, and eventually stumbled on grace?

“‘Help’ is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray -with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began,´Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom´. Prayer usually means praise, or surrender, acknowledging that you have run out of bullets. But there are no firm rules. As Rumi wrote,´There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.’ I just talk to God. I pray when people I know are sick, and I prayed when I didn’t know whether I should have a baby. I pray when my work is horrible, or suddently, miraculously, better. I cried out silently every few hours during the last two years of my mother’s life. I even asked for help in coping with George W. Bush. I prayed that he would take decisions for the common good, which he has not done, but I pray that he might slip up and do it anyway. I do not pray for his success, as I do not pray for mine. I pray that he and his people do not destroy everything on the way down.

When I am in my right mind, which  is about twice a month, I pray kindly.”

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