Written by Lillian Daniel
"Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe." - Psalm 33:8
If you follow the bestseller list, you've seen Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. Her first book, Carry On, Warrior, grew out of her popular blog aimed at moms with a heart for God and the world. Melton is known for her humor, honesty and her ability to connect the Gospel to real life, even when real life stinks.
Love Warrior chronicles the ups and downs of her own marriage, which includes infidelity, therapy, bad sex, good sex and no sex, all while trying to be a good parent. But the story is much larger than any of that plot detail. She uses her own personal story to talk about larger stories, and God is in the middle of it all. At one awkward and excruciating moment, she reminds herself and her readers that "scared and sacred are sisters."
Glennon Doyle Melton is a member of the United Church of Christ and her home church shows up often in her writing. Whether she is reflecting on her pastor's sermons or talking about teaching Sunday School, she paints a picture of church that some of you will recognize and rejoice in, churches where you can experience the holy and still be freaked out, churches where you can say clever and quirky things like "Scared and sacred are sisters."
But I imagine there are also readers who do not have or recognize a church like that. Statistically speaking, Melton's readers are pretty likely to be unchurched, and perhaps unhappy or unwelcome at the church they used to attend. So if you hear people talking about the book Love Warrior, you might want to mention that you know a church that is as special and real as the one in that book. I can think of a good one right here in Dubuque, Iowa.
Dear God, thank you for being present in the sacred and scary moments of our lives, and thank you for churches worth reading and writing about. Amen.
Lillian Daniel's new book Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don't Belong To: Spirituality without Stereotypes, Religion without Ranting is now available for purchase, but you can hear it all for free at 1st Congregational Church of Dubuque, Iowa.