Long Time Reader, First Time Listener

Category: , By Christian
I celebrated Maunday Thursday this year by attending my first ever author's event. Anne Lamott was in town, and I have enjoyed reading her ever since I was in college. One of the required readings in our Basic Christian Beliefs class was her Traveling Mercies, and it was a good exercise for college students in experiencing a new voice to express and understand faith. Now, Lamott is not for everyone. She can be very raw at times, and some folks don't deal well with the language that she uses. And yet, if you can get past those things, her books tend to be good reads because they convey a certain authenticity that a lot of Christian authors fail to capture.

This being my first author event, my expectations weren't that high. Let's be honest. Writing well and speaking well are not always direct correlates. In this case, however, my expectations were exceeded. I found Lamott to be funny and engaging, and the experience of listening to her read her own writing was great. What I really came away with was the impression that what she writes is really her. She's not putting on a show. She is allowing the words and stories to flow from her in a way that truly allows us a window into her own personal experiences.

The one thing I did not anticipate going into the evening was how many people I would know in the audience. Lamott is one of those authors that a lot of Evangelical Christians enjoy reading, but we're always a little leery to admit it. You might get labeled as something less-than-desirable in the church. So, it was a little bit funny to go to this event and experience it as a sort of coming out party. It was like this sense of relief where people were going around giving each other enthusiastic greetings that implied, "Praise the Lord! There are people out there who are just like me!" It was a funny deal. And though Lamott isn't known for being the most reverent person in the world, she did make a point of not swearing since it was a Holy Day. And let me tell you, it was far more reverent than what I did for Good Friday.

Details tomorrow.

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