Interrupted by books

Having just finished reading Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton I can’t get it out of my head. There is some beautiful writing here — she exactly perfectly captures that terrifying-on-every-level ride home from the hospital with the newborn first baby. She beautifully writes about true love that is annual and love that is perennial and that all love means something: love cannot be judged by the end. Or perhaps it is up to our us to end a love with love and grace. She definitely describes how troubling church can be, how church is so much harder than loving Jesus.

Yet there is so much that troubles me. While clearly a spiritual memoir and clearly Christian-flavored, it is more a memoir than spiritual to me. And as such it is of course innate to the format that it seems full of the author. And since I’m much older than Glennon, although I remember a lot of what she writes about (she didn’t invent food and alcohol issues), it seems like far country, long ago, and she’s maybe mixing up outsides and with insides a lot. Life isn’t a competition to be the worse sinner ever so that God will love you the most; Jesus will love and save us all. It isn’t a matter of looking like the worse sinner of the world ever. It was so sad, and painfully honest, her writing about her past. And how much she still wants to be beautiful on the outside (so do we all; but aging humbles that a lot). But even if her past had been merely that of reading, I feel confident in saying that Jesus would love her just as fully as completely — and she would have been in need of forgiveness then too. Nor height nor depth — not how “good” we are or how “bad” we are, not how “happy” or how “sad” we are — can separate us from the love of Jesus. To quote Paul, yes?

To be searingly honest, I find little about forgiveness here, but of course that is likely more my issue than Glennon’s. Forgiveness is how I found God. How I still find God. It is my cross that I struggle to extend, and struggle to accept, and struggle to keep the boundaries clear. I wonder in twenty years or so if her writing is even more beautiful and deeper and richer.

As Sarah Bessey has also beautifully written, I love the delving into the translation of the word used for “woman” that God provided Adam with. Not something lesser at all. Not a mere helpmeet. God provided Adam with a warrior. I’m always leary of metaphor from war and violence, but this is a powerful image and perhaps greatly needed these days: we women are meant to be warriors: strong, helpful, protective, capable.

Carry on, Glennon, Carry on and wrestle like Jacob with your God and your life.

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