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The Girl Got Up

I'm working on a round-up review of recent spiritual memoirs by women for The Living Church, and revisiting the quietly astounding The Girl Got Up by Rachel Srubas. Understated and meditative, the author reflects on her life and scripture in deep ways. I want to share a bit:

One her need in her preaching to remind congregants of their instrinsic worth:

Because we assume little of value can be found within us, few of us bother to look.  We fear we'll find in ourselves something so shameful or painful we decide it's better to keep busy than to be still and know God is God.  It seems more prudent to make coffee than to reckon with a feeling.  My task when I preach is to speak messages that mean, Reckon with it. Look deeper into your life. Rummage around in the stuff you cast off.  Read the book you closed long ago.  In that old Bible story you doubt can tell you anything new, in that memory you have no further use for, God may be found. God will help you live your life with love, and God will help you die your death in peace.

On why she writes:

A writer of faith may face the vexing problem of making yet one more "unnecessary" contribution to an overloaded literary market, in the service of a dying religion. Why bother?

I bother because I notice myself turning toward what is more wonderful than me.  I need to tell the story. A girl as good as dead somehow notices a healer's hand laid on her and gets up. A woman wan from blood loss who notices the fringe of the healer's garment musters just enough nerve to graspp it and be made well.  A psalmist, depressive perhaps, insomniac maybe, notices daybreak purshing darkness away and calls the light "my Lord." A moralist noticing the difference between foolishness and wisdom characterizes both of them as women. A woman notices the forturne she stores in an alabaster jar will be worthless until she spills it on one who affirms her humanity. God notices prostitutes, rape victims, infertile and repeatedly married women still bearing in their weary beings the holy love knit into them when they were formed in their mothers' wombs. The world notices when a woman gives birth to its Messiah. The seas swell, the trees burst into green applause. The mountains aspire to lift up all creatures. Among them it's the humans who were fashioned to tell stories. People notice in ourselves the signature of life's Author. In Scripture we discover God and our own precious, numbered days. The urge to recount them, to write our sacred lives, becomes too great to resist.  It is necessary.

And it is hazardous.