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Book Club: "Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair," by Anne Lamott

Anne_Lamott_and_Stitches_CoverJoin members and friends of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square on Saturday, February 1st at 10am as we gather once again at Letizia’s Fiore — this time to discuss Anne Lamott‘s most recent book: “Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair”

Sandra Dallas of the Denver Post writes,

“If Anne Lamott were sarcastic (and we know she never is that), she might have titled this book “Deal With It.” Because that is what “Stitches” is about, dealing with loss. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she has some. “Helping one another stand up in a wind and stay warm” goes a long way, she writes. And “meaning is always going to have to do with love.”

The wickedly witty and very funny Lamott is a pop theologian whose writing makes you laugh at the same time she makes you think. This collection of moments, memories and spiritual insights is one of her best — if shortest books. It is intended to be useful on bad days — days like Newtown. Is there any meaning to be taken from that tragedy? She asks. “Not yet,” Lamott quotes a friend.

It is OK not to understand, to just witness hardship and terror and keep your mouth shut and be there instead of mouthing platitudes, Lamott says. “It is not helpful to many people if you say that it’s all part of God’s perfect plan or that it’s for the highest good … or that more will be revealed,” she writes “Because at least for me, if someone’s cute position minimizes the crucifixion, it’s [b.s.]. Which I say with love.”

Lamott’s relationship with God — he is not the “old man in the sky who loves the occasional goat sacrifice” — is personal, to say the least. When something bad happens, she asks him, “Would it have been so much skin off your teeth to cut us some slack here?”

She adds, “I know God enjoys hearing my take on how best we should all proceed here, as I’m always full of useful advice. I’m sure God says either, ‘Oh, I so love Annie’s selfless and evolved thoughts,’ or else, ‘Geez. What a head case.'”

God is there for her, Lamott writes. And she is there for us, if not to make us fully understand loss, then at least to help us cope with love and laughter.”

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