You’ll forgive me, I hope, for a short post today.  You see, I’m rapt in the final pages of Marilynne Robinson’s Lila, and I’m finding it hard to pull away.

Right now, the book has left me rent – 9 pages to go – with the beauty that is marriage and grace and all that comes with the pain and the glory of life.

So. ‘Things happen for reasons that are hidden from us, utterly hidden for as long as we think they must proceed from what has come before, our guilt or our deserving, rather than coming to us from a future God in his freedom offers to us.’ My meaning here is that you really can’t account for what happens by what has happened in the past, as you understand it anyway, which may be very different from the past itself. If there is such a thing.

That’s Rev. Ames talking about how we make meaning out of life, how God’s gifts come, about mystery . . .

Or this:

Lila could tell by the smell that the sheets had frozen on the clothesline. Then Mrs. Graham or whoever had the time had ironed them. But there was still that good, cold smell that made her think of the air after a lightening storm. New air, if there was such a thing, that the rain brought down, or the snow.

For many months – year now, I think – I have struggled with how to place my faith fully into myself, how to not succumb to systems or strategies that belied what I know for the sake of what I have been taught, how to stand above alliances in the truth that straddles all. How to be open to newness . . . without leaving myself wide open.

This book, this book – as Robinson’s books always do – is holding me close to myself.  A hug from the truth that speaks quietly.  The whisper.

Now, back to the 9 pages.

What books, music, films, natural events, people remind you of truth, of goodness, of grace? What brings you back to yourself?