Anne Lamott…What Love Is

Anne Lamott recounts a miracle of love in “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”

It took place at my church, where one of our newer members is dying of AIDS, literally wasting away before our very eyes… This man has a totally lopsided face, deformed, ravaged, emaciated, and when he smiles, he is radiant… He said that he was gladly willing to pay any price for what he has now.

There’s another woman in the choir who is huge and beautiful and black and as devout as can be, who has also been a little stand-offish. She has always looked at him with confusion, when she looks at him at all, in his goofy, ravaged joy. She was raised in the South by fundamentalists who taught her that his way of life — that he — was an abomination…

So on this one particular Sunday, when it came time to sing the first hymn, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” I noticed that he couldn’t stand up to sing. The pianist was playing and the whole congregation had risen, and only the man with AIDS remained seated, holding the hymnal in his lap. And the big black woman watched him rather skeptically for a moment, and then her face began to melt and contort like his, and she went to his side, and bent down to lift him up, lifted up this white ragdoll, this scarecrow. She held him next to her, and he was draped over and against her like a child, and they sang. And it pierced me…

See also:

A New Category Debuts: Love and Beauty
The crowd went completely silent. “All that stuff the Lead fans were yelling –it was like she reversed it somehow,” a teammate says. In the sudden quiet all they could hear was her Lakota song. SuAnne dropped her jacket, took the ball from Doni De Cory, and ran a lap around the court dribbling expertly and fast. The audience began to cheer and applaud…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.