Quotable Friday, Vol. 14

In her book Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott describes being healed and delivered after two decades of bulimia:

“It is, finally, so wonderful to have learned to eat, to taste and love what slips down my throat, padding me, filling me up, that I’m not uncomfortable calling it a small miracle. A friend who does not believe in God says, ‘Maybe not a miracle, but a little improvement,’ but to that I say, Listen! You must not have heard me right: I couldn’t feed myself. So thanks for your input, but I know where I was, and I know where I am now, and you just can’t get here from there. Something happened that I had despaired would ever happen. It was like being a woman who has despaired of ever getting to be a mother who now cradles a baby. So it was either a miracle–Picasso said, ‘Everything is a miracle; it is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar’–or maybe it was more of a gift, one that required some assembly. But whatever it was, learning to eat was about learning to live–and deciding to live; and it is one of the most radical things I’ve ever done.”

I know that feeling, of seeing where I was, and where I am now, and knowing that I didn’t get here myself…couldn’t get here myself. Some of you know that I was once a man hater. That usually ellicits a few chuckles, but this is for real. I hated men. My hatred of half the world was ruining my life, and hurting a lot of other people along the way. I absolutely could not imagine my life without my crippling animosity. But my senior year of college, I was healed! I can’t pinpoint how it happened, but I know prayer and counseling were involved, and now I’m running free of that. Just today I was reading in Isaiah 54 where it says,
“Sing, O barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband,”
says the LORD.”

That’s the God I believe in, the One I’ve staked my life in. He is the God who gives children to barren women, who frees hurting twenty-something girls from hatred, who releases thirty-three year old women from bulimia. It makes no sense sometimes, we who did not go through the labor now enjoy these miracles in our lives; but that’s God. He doesn’t make sense a lot of times, but in the most wonderful ways that make us forget our puzzlement and bring to Him songs and shouts of joy and love.


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