Current Read: Traveling Mercies

Posted in books

“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.”

Not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this book by Anne Lamott, but so far it’s an interesting and rich read, in its own way. Some thoughts are deep, some are simple. But a continual thread through the entire story is one of figuring out and discovering real faith, and hope in God.

The above quote is a creative way of describing life and maturity. Life hands you tools, and you do with them what you can. You ask God to help you use the elements in front of you, around you, to live a life that is kind, loving, deep, and glorifying to Him. I think I resonate with this framework of thought because it sheds light on the reality of needing effort and growth in your life. I wasn’t born knowing how to be patient, or what it felt like to give wisdom to a situation. Those, and many others, are things I prayed for you and worked out with the Lord. Disciplines and practices that take time, that take effort, that take lots of grace.

“Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”

Born broken. Being mended in small or large ways every day through this life. Being held together and built by the grace of God.

How beautiful of a reality, how freeing! My whole life is a mending of my natural brokenness, and I’m not doing it alone. God, in His grace and mercy and love, help me. He mends that which I cannot mend, that which I cannot see. And His spirit is active in helping me mend that which I can change myself, that which I interact with everyday. His love is what helps us press into this life and live it deeply, wildly, and well.

“This is the most profound spiritual truth I know: that even when we’re most sure that love can’t conquer all, it seems to anyway. It goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. It gives us second winds, third winds, hundredth winds.”

Water to my soul, this truth. Truth that there is a love that goes down into the rat hole with us, in the guise of our friends, and there it swells and comforts. Hallelujah!

Love is the fire behind our actions, the strength in our behavior, the rope that reaches to us in our lowest of moments. Love is a chance to impact someone’s life, to help others become who they want to be. Love is what pulls us through our days, breathing new life when we need it.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 

God is.

Something I’ve learned over the past year is that it isn’t necessarily God’s mercy that I most desire, or His patience, or His goodness. It’s Him.

In Him is all that I need. The answer is always HimHis presence inside me, in Heaven on the throne, on the cross.


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