Granted I have only read the introduction, but I think I might have found my new favorite book. It's called Amazing Grace and is written by Kathleen Norris.
I remember reading that name on Kim's blog not too long ago and thinking it was someone who went to college with us. There's a face I see when I hear the name -- and I've always had a remarkable memory for people's names and faces, a side effect of moving to a new town nearly ever other year during my growing up days -- so I'm sure this face has a similar name. (Fellow OBUers feel free to help me out on that one.)
An older post prompted Aunt Nancy to send me a few books she thought I might find interesting. Thanks Nancy, I believe I will enjoy a book based on one woman's attempt to redefine her own Christian language. If it's possible to tempt any of you lovers of language and searchers of meanings to join me in reading, I'm positive the following quote will do the trick:
At the outset of this religious journey I had very little to sustain me -- even the word "Christ" was inaccessible to me. It seemed like a code word that Christians used when they couldn't think of anything else to say. I had no idea what people meant when they spoke with seeming ease of "the love of Christ," or when they signed letters, "Yours in Christ."
Such honesty! Reading confessions like these make me feel like I've just reached the top of a mountain trail on the clearest day of the year and taken in a long, deep breath.
Norris grew up in church but said she drifted away when "catechism came to the fore, and the well-meaning adults who taught Sunday school and confirmation class seemed intent on putting the vastness of 'God' into small boxes of their own devising. Theirs was a scary vocabulary, not an inviting one." Amazing Grace is the result reclaiming her faith, "scary vocabulary and all." She's used these scary words to entitle each of her chapters, and the first one is Eschatology. I can hardly believe I put the book down to write this post!
In fact, if you don't hear from me for awhile, it's most likely because I will be consuming this book. Before I go however, I am most curious about which religious words you people find "scary." Exhale with me, won't you? Pretend we're all on top of that mountain and the only way we can breathe is by sharing our scary words. I'll volunteer the first, and you can leave me a comment with yours.