Saturday, September 02, 2006

Keep Your Hands Open

Philip Yancey offers these words about church in describing his personal pilgrimage:

“I identified with one of Flannery O’Connor’s in-laws, who started attending church because the service was ‘so horrible, he knew there must be something else there to make the people come.’”

“O’Connor also said that she took care to be at her writing desk each morning so that, if an idea came, she would be there to receive it.”

“A lapsed Catholic named Nancy Mairs writes in her memoirs Ordinary Time that she returned to church in somewhat the same way. Even while uncertain about belief in God, she began attending Mass again to prepare ‘a space into which belief could flood.’ She learned that one does not always go to church with belief in hand. Rather, one goes with open hands, and sometimes church fills them.”

Source: Philip Yancey, Church: Why Bother? My Personal Pilgrimage Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998, 21.

Image: With Open Hands