2/18/08

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means

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.

Mine: abomination.

Yours:??

8 comments:

Jerusalem said...

discipleship. making disciples. scares the pee out of me and it is our church's current "mission" statement. i tried to warn them...
I feel like Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa "What does this mean!!!???"

Tricia said...

Hi, Jana... I don't know if you remember me. I went to CCF w/you back in "the day". I read your blog via Jeru and Nate. You're very insightful!

I for sure agree with Jerusalem, and would have to add "witness". It always made me feel like every little thing I did or didn't do could effect where someone else spent eternity!

Take care - Tricia :-)

the hamster said...

"free pizza after the service." there's never free pizza! they use that as bait to sell you something like "witnessing tools" or "abomination picket signs." but i still go for the pizza every time. what can i say: i am a slave to my flesh?

Tricia said...

Hey! Thank you! We are going no place... I know - it's terrible. I'll spare you my long list of excuses as to why we haven't plugged in somewhere else and just say that we're hoping to remedy that this spring.

It's crazy how fast kids grow up... I can't believe Tanner will be a year in March. I still remember that adorable baby you had back at CCF, Sam. I'm scared to think how old he must be by now.

I read your profile - wow - so true. I loved what you said there. That's such a great perspective! Gald to get to reconnect a bit via "blog land"! Take care!

Angela said...

mine's a phrase - just give it to god!!! yes. that's three exclamation points.
excuse me if this offends but, what the fuuuuuuck?

Kimberly said...

Angela offends me... you really shouldn't let her post here...

Perhaps you were picturing Carmen Norris... who was a suitemate for a semester or so... but that is (definately) not who wrote the book...

So I referenced the book when talking of Grace and Peace, and it is definately one that I adore and share freely. I would place it in my "top ten" list, if indeed I had one of those.

As for words that make me cringe? Most recently: Apostolic Succession... especially when claimed by Protestants... and even more so among non-denominational Protestants...

Angela said...

ah, kimberly, i think she's thinking of chuck norris.

Janna Y. Barber said...

Kim,

I dug out my yearbooks and figured it out. I was picturing Denise Norwood, but giving her her mother's name-- Kathi! Too much time spent in the religion dept. at OBU, huh?