Sin Boldly by Cathleen Falsani. January 26, 2009
I’m not a book reviewer by any means. (You should be reading Kari’s blog if you want good reviews.) But! I do love reading, and this year I want to do a better job of remembering the books I read and what I liked about them.
So every so often this year, I’m just going to post a few passages from the books that strike me. Hopefully I will be able to look back and remember books and paragraphs that meant something to me, made me laugh, or shifted the way I look at the world.
Last week I finished a book called Sin Boldly: A Field Guide to Grace by Cathleen Falsani. It was fantastic – one of those books that you don’t want to read to quickly for fear of missing something, the kind that you put down after each chapter so it can sit with you for a while. It put words to a lot of thoughts I’ve been having lately, and it came along at the perfect time.
“‘We’re all great creatures of second chances,’ Sech told the congregation. We expend too much energy beating ourselves up for our mistakes, screwups, and shortcomings. Fixating on them can lead to ‘internalized oppression,’ the rabbi said. ‘Let it go!’
Deliver yourself from your narrow, sorrowful place, he said, adding that the word for ‘sorrow’ in Hebrew also means ‘narrow’ and that, seeing as how it was Passover, we might want to think of that spiritual self-imprisonment as something we have to ‘pass through.’
‘Bust out into freedom,’ he said. ‘You wanna be free? Work on it!’”
“I have a favorite t-shirt that reads, “Jesus is my mixtape.” When I bought it, I thought its slogan was charmingly quirky, but over time it has acquired this transcendent quality, a motto that sums up my belief that everything – everything – is spiritual. At the center of that everythingness, as a pastor friend of mine likes to describe it, is a universal rhythm, a song we all play, like a giant, motley orchestra. Sometimes in tune, sometimes off-key. We call it by different names. Still, it remains – if only we have ears to hear it – the eternal soundtrack that plays in the background of our lives.”