Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Season of Waiting is Over

A  long time ago, I heard about a book entitled The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. Someone whose opinion on spiritual things, whose book recommendations, whose prayers over me before I travel set me on a new path before my first trip to Italy back in 2001, told me about that book. For some reason, I never read it. I've read every other book he's ever recommended, but this one has always eluded me.

Anyway, recently I was in Barnes and Noble and I stumbled upon a whole bunch of books that Brennan Manning has written. I thumbed through all of them, but didn't buy any of them at the time. In the back of one of those books, however, I found an afterword by someone whose blog is entitled The Ragamuffin Diva. Apparently, Mair, the Ragamuffin Diva, had read The Ragamuffin Gospel a few years earlier, seen herself among the "bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out" that that book is written for and gave herself that wonderful name.

I hadn't read the book her afterword appeared in, and I still haven't read The Ragamuffin Gospel in its entirety, mind you, but her words, her afterwords, her openness, vulnerability, honesty, and strong voice were enough to confirm not only that I had to read that book, but also that I had found a spiritual soul-sister. As soon as I got home, I looked up her blog, and I laughed out loud, jumped up and down, and gave thanks to God for bringing her into my life. There she was - another woman whose search for God outstrips her search for everything and everyone else in life. Someone whose questions and doubts and fears are counterbalanced (most of the time) by her peace and trust and heartfelt knowledge that God will show up on time everytime. I like her kind of faith. I long to have more of her kind of faith.

The Ragamuffin Diva has begun a series of blog posts about Advent that gets me out of bed early in the mornings these days in search of her stories and her prayers. Check out the first of her series here.

Yes, the season of waiting is over. I have prayed often and waited years for someone like Mair to show up in my life. Someone who reads and writes and talks and sings and dances about her faith in God and her longing for Him to fill her to the utmost. Someone who is unwavering about her commitment to Him, her search for Him, her determination to find Him at all times, in all situations, and in everyone she meets - including the man on the street who asks for a hug, the landlord who wants her out of her place of residence, and the abused, pregnant woman looking for a place to stay. Someone whose faith has gotten her into some tight spots, but who has made the decision to follow hard after God no matter what. Someone who writes long and hard about her struggles, who doesn't disguise them in coded or coy wording, or stop writing when times get tough. In fact, it was facing the most difficult challenge of her life that drew her into the blogging world. It was the urge to recount the deep and dark stuff of her life, her failings and faults that drew her out into the open. And many people have pulled up their chairs to the fire of her faith and are finding a place where they are warmly welcomed home and asked to sit a while and rest.

I am one of those people.

Thank you, my dear sister Mair. I look forward to reading more of your writing, to following the saga of the establishment of your hospitality house, and to becoming your sister-friend, your co-traveler on this journey of faith. I hope that someday you and I are able to make a pilgrimage together to The Big House in Rome, singing and dancing and crying our way home.


ragamuffin diva said...

This was absolutely lovely, and deeply humbling. But I'm afraid the gift is all mine. Jesus was good to bring us together. I'm awed by his goodness today.

Much love, dear Gail. I'm so grateful for you.

Lisa said...


This is powerful.

I am happy for this sacred, synchronistic blessing in your life!

Beth said...

You should definitely check out the visual edition of The Ragamuffin Gospel. It's amazing and beautiful and heart-rending.