QOTD: The Hard Part is the Second Time


Anne Lamott has done a rather cool thing for decades now.  At the end of every book, she invites people to visit her church, Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City, California.

When my wife and I were writing a blog about visiting churches, we took her up on the offer. During the church’s greeting time, Anne made an effort to greet all the visitors, knowing that they may have come because of her invitation. She told us we had to stay after church to try her friend Gail’s “world famous potato salad” at their potluck.

If you’ve read Lamott, you know that she isn’t a fan of Republicans, especially Trump (though previously it was especially Bush, and if they had won it likely would have been especially McCain or Romney.) But she does seem to really love Jesus. And I appreciate her promotion of her church.

In this culture where some people are happy to have all their interactions online, she is encouraging people to join communities of real, live people. Good for her. I appreciate her advice here on how to join a group (whether it be a church, or recovery group, or a political action group or a Battlestar Galactica fan club):

Becoming part of a community can be scary initially, even if you have feeling lonely and untethered…The hard part is coming a second time. Maybe you’re not convinced that these people are worthy of you or think that they would never accept you. But almost always people will say, ‘We’re glad to see you. Please come back.’ And you’ll think, well, they’re just nuts. Or they’re a cult, and they’ll make me sleep with the leader, or get a tattoo in a very special place. But they’ll just say, ‘We’re glad to see you.’ You think that, sadly, you don’t have time for this because you’re a busy and important person. Then if you come back three or four times because you have the gift of desperation, you’ll see someone come in who’s clearly there for the first time, looking furtive, arrogant, or shy. So you go up to them and you say, ‘Hello. I’m glad you’re here.'”

From Anne Lamott’s Somehow: Thoughts on Love

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 3 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill

    I love a lot of Anne’s writing.  (Possibly due to the power of its simplicity combined with honesty.)

    Her deep dive into that church in Marin City came about  I think due to her father, who she adored, being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

    She discovered two essentials for life creation there: one being the Lord  Jesus and the other being community.

    I am glad her sharing of the experience that  she had with this church brought you there.

    You left out if you got around to Gail’s potato salad or not…



    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn

    Her point is so important–and that comes from a person who is not a joiner and is an introvert to boot. But the couple of little communities that I’m a part of give me a place to be grounded, to be a part of, to contribute to. And that matters a lot.

    • #2
  3. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist

    I have not read her books but her advice is what I tell everyone about the amazing pickleball group to which I belong and strive to nourish. That is not sarcasm. You can bowl alone or you can play pickleball. You can choose to live a lonely existence or you can go to a place where people seem to be having fun and ask  “How does this work?” and then ask “How can I join?”

    • #3
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.