The Anne Lamott effect and “earth crammed with heaven”

Reading ‘Travelling Mercies’ by Anne Lamott quietly changed my life. Not because it was so soaringly uplifting in the way I expected but because it painted such a real canvas of who we are as deeply flawed and unashamedly beloved. I realised that God doesn’t expect superheroes from us. He isn’t default: mad, and maybe I could stop default: staring at my feet in shame at the fact that He’s mad.

This may sound like a pretty obvious revelation but it was for me a timely and much needed reminder of our broken-beautiful, desperately in need of grace. I think I’s climbed a little too far inside a religious box.

A few days later we walked past the man in front of the court building, and these ideas were brought very painfully into technicolor. The thing is, I hadn’t even noticed him. Five of us were walking back to the office and Beth noticed that someone was lying in the heat on the stone steps in front of the magistrates court. He was in a thick winter coat in blistering heat and was having a seizure of some kind which meant he was banging his head against the concrete floor. Continue reading