Sunday, May 7, 2017
There are times in our lives - scary, unsettling times - when we know that we need help or answers but we're not sure what kind, or even what the problem or question is. We look and look, tearing apart our lives like we're searching for the car keys in our couch, and we come up empty-handed. Then when we're doing something stupid, like staring at the dog's mismatched paws, we stumble across what we needed to find. Or even better, it finds us. It wasn't what we were looking or hoping for, which was usually advice, approval, an advantage, safety, or relief from pain. I was raised to seek or achieve them, but like everyone, I realized at some point that they do not bring lasting peace, relief, or uplift. This does not seem fair, after a lifetime spent in their pursuit. Where, then, do I turn in these increasingly frightening days? Where do I look for answers when I'm afraid, or confused, or numb? To an elegant Japanese sage? A dream-dancing Sioux grandmother with a tinkling laugh? No. More often than not, the North Star that guides me through the darkness is the Old Testament prophet Micah. He must have looked like a complete stoner or a Games of Thrones extra, and smelled like a goat, yet nearly three thousand years ago, he spoke the words that often remind me of my path and purpose. "What doth God require of thee but to do justice and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
-Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy