And then make fun of them in my mind.
This does not make me a good person.
It has come to my attention that Anne Lamott posts on Facebook and I stumbled across one of her posts last night and I have spent WAY too much time reading it, thinking about it, and then reading the gozillion and twenty-six million comments which in 99.9% of the case are slavishly praise-filled. Praise for Anne, praise for grace, praise for faith, praise for god.
As we all know, Anne has a very close-up and personal relationship with her god and man, that's awesome. I loved her book "Operating Instructions" as does every woman on earth and her ability to wade into the muck of human behavior and still find the bluefilled sky of it, the sweet rose scented blessing of it is a constant in her writing. And much of the muck-filled human behavior is her own, as she reports it with great openness. I also love her for actually DOING great good things which take a lot of courage which she does do.
In the post I read on Facebook last night, she talked about how she was having a hard day and many horrible things were happening to many people she loved, including herself, when her car (a '57 Volkswagen) ran out of gas and she prayed "Please God, fix my car," and then she remembered something her beloved pastor had said about sometimes it's too late for "beggy" prayers and that it's time for trust and surrender.
And then of course, some guy knocked on her window and ended up spending two hours with her, getting her gas (and she got in his truck with him and yet, he did not serial-murder kill her) and this is all somehow proof of grace and how you just gotta have faith and also, that "all truth is paradox"and she misses her mom but her mom is right here.
You see. This is the sort of thing that makes me just want to ask, "What the fucking fuck?" And then, "Why the fucking fuck did you get in the truck with the guy when he could very easily have gone and gotten the gas can and filled it up and brought it back to you?"
My husband, whose religious beliefs are tenuous, to say the least, would have been that guy who stopped to help. He's always the guy who stops to help. Not because a god tells him to but because he's that kind of guy. And so if he had been the one who stopped to help Ms. Lamott, why in the world would it be necessary to bring in grace and god and all that stuff when the simple fact is- people can be good and people often want to help. Yes, there is grace in this. But's just (!) the grace of goodness. Which in itself is pretty miraculous to me.
I would be far more impressed and driven to believe in celestial grace and goodness if god sent down someone to spontaneously heal the woman whom Anne talked about who has tongue cancer. But no, in that case, faith is proven by the woman's attitude of not being particularly worried because she knows that "God has got this."
Perhaps it's just a case of a difference in semantics between me and Anne Lamott. She needs to feel that there is a higher power while I am content to believe that there is good, there is bad, and more people are good and helpful than there are serial killers.
See those pretty little violets? I took that picture on my walk. There's a stretch of road shoulder where they grow like crazy and it is one of the most trash-filled parts of that road. Do I need to make a nice little fable out of this? That even in a place which so clearly illustrates the uncaring and trashy way humans can behave, beautiful flowers grow every spring to show us that there is grace and beauty even so?
Nah. I just wish the uncaring and trashy people would quit throwing their fucking trash out the window and I'm glad I see them every spring and I should probably pick up the trash myself because obviously no one else is going to do it.
One thing Anne and I can agree on is that we are all, at heart, sad, mean little spirits at some times. We all need help, we all need reminding that we are deserving of love and care and yes, that we do so very much need to remember to be grateful when, despite our sad, mean little spirits, someone comes along and helps us.
Out of the goodness of his or her heart. And to be grateful for the goodness in those hearts and in our own, as well.
And to keep our eyes out for the violets. Even in the midst of trash. And maybe we should just pick up the trash while we're at it although most of us (me) are too damn lazy but which Anne would probably do. Maybe. Actually, I have no idea.