My Rascally Savior


I nursed my resentments and disgrace like young plants, watering them, trimming back the dead leaves, making sure they got enough sunlight. At times like these, I believe, Jesus rolls up his sleeves, smiles roguishly, and thinks, “This is good.” He lets me get nice and crazy, until I can’t take my own thinking and solutions for one more moment. The next morning, I got on my knees and prayed, “Please, please help me. Please let me feel You while I adjust to not getting what I was hoping for.” And then I remembered Rule 1: When all else fails, follow instructions. And Rule 2: Don’t be an asshole.

In this excerpt by Anne Lamott from her book titled “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith,” she speaks of Jesus as “roguish.” Upon consulting to make sure it meant what I thought it meant, here are some of the synonyms I discovered, much to my delight, adding more slashy, timid pencil marks to my mind’s always shifting and surprising sketch of Jesus: “scalawag.” “black sheep.” “trickster.” And my personal favorite…”rascal.”

Is it possible, just as in a friendship or a romance where one repeatedly uncovers attributes that draw one to another more and more, that I could like Him, love Him, even more? It doesn’t sound like that would be a good or a smart realization…I have this imposing sense that I should already know everything there is to make me love Him. Here in my thirtieth year, shouldn’t I have the laundry list of attributes memorized by now? Feeling very small and elementary, slightly behind the curve, I should be punished by some ugly, wiry-haired teacher sort with “I already love Jesus perfectly” write-offs on the blackboard. I know that I should already love Him as much as is humanly possible…but here is more. How can that be?


  1. Andrew Peterson


    You know who’s rascally? That Anne Lamott. She’s hilarious, irreverent, sassy, and wise. Her conversion account in Traveling Mercies is shockingly beautiful. Sometimes her political views speak so loudly that it’s hard to hear much else, but there’s no denying that Jesus has enraptured her. And I’m glad he did. Could you imagine that witty, sarcastic mind not tempered with grace? I’d be very afraid.

    George MacDonald said that since God made us not out of nothing, but out of himself, he holds a special place in his heart for each of us:

    For each, God has a different response. With every man He has a secret–the secret of a new name. In every man there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of peculiar life into which God only can enter. I say not it is the innermost chamber.

    There is a chamber also (O God, humble and accept my speech)–a chamber in God Himself, into which none can enter but the one, the individual, the peculiar man–out of which chamber that man has to bring revelation and strength for his brethren. This is that for which he was made–to reveal the secret things of the Father.

    (From C.S. Lewis’s George MacDonald, An Anthology)

    What a beautiful thought. We will each have unique ways of seeing him, of relating to him and understanding him. We may think ourselves unlearned and unwise, but we each have something to teach the other about the person of God, and the best art reflects that. I could write pages about this, but I should probably save it for my own post.

    Anne Lamott, with her web of family history, opinions, addictions, shortcomings and strengths, has encountered Christ in a way that I have not. I was confronted with his mercy in ways that she couldn’t fathom. Thank God for those with the courage to tell their story, warts and all, because in doing so they’re telling me more about my savior, and I just can’t get enough of him.

    May we all learn to make him known the way she does.

    Even if my mom would faint if she read rule #2.

  2. Chris R

    Reading these posts has got me to thinking. Can the contributers to this website perhaps create a recommended reading list? Perhaps books that they have read and recommend. You don’t even have to say why you recommend them, but you seem to have good taste.

  3. Curt McLey


    Some of the contributors here have accounts at A Library Thing which has the capacity to list all of the books in a person’s personal library. Andy and Eric Peters (I think) both have accounts and there may be others. Just yesterday, I was thinking about signing up myself. Andy, Eric and the rest could easily post links to those accounts if they are so inclined.

    Too, keep in mind that one of the primary purposes of The Rabbit Room will be to routinely recommend great books. This will be a regular, on-going aspect of Andy’s site here, so do check in regularly. And thanks for the question.

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