Raised as an atheist, Sara Miles lived an enthusiastically secular life. Then early one morning, for no earthly reason, she wandered into a church. "I was certainly not interested in becoming a Christian," she writes, "or, as I thought of it rather less politely, a religious nut." But she ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine, and found herself radically transformed. The sacrament of communion has sustained Miles ever since, in a faith she'd scorned, in work she'd never imagined. Here she tells how the seeds of her conversion were sown, and what her life has been like since she took that bread: as a lesbian left-wing journalist, religion for her was not about angels or good behavior or piety. She writes about the economy of hunger and the ugly politics of food; the meaning of prayer and the physicality of faith. Here, in this passionate book, is the living communion of Christ.--From publisher description.
Similar in this library
On a whim one day, Sara walked into a church, ate a bit of bread, sipped a bit of wine, and
Both light-hearted and deeply meaningful, this is a book that will toy with the full range of your emotions.
As a journalist for many years, she writes beautifully, weaving her many experiences together. Through them you can see God moving to draw her to him, and then draw her deeper into a discipleship often with cost.
Recommended for anyone interested in the spiritual life, including to those sensing a call from God to new vocations.
What I appreciated most about this book was the author's meditations on what it means to "be the body of Christ," and sharing in that call with those whose religious beliefs differed significantly from hers. (And vice versa!) It's a thought that I've been mulling over all summer, and it's helping me be less reticent expressing my beliefs around those with more conservative views (Pretty much everyone.)
It is instructive I guess to learn why people oppose certain things, like gay marriage; I didn’t strictly read this book to learn about
But I also have issues with trust, at times.
I’m certainly aware that I have fears, which I guess is the opposite of trust. I mean, sometimes it’s okay. I certainly don’t fear being unimportant, or even, sometimes being imperfect. When I was eating with my brother and his family for Christmas, we went to a place that supposedly had that one vegetarian option, but it didn’t, it turns out you had to order something non-vegetarian and then specify for them to hold the meat, which I did, and then I got pasta with chicken anyway. It was fine. What’s saving the environment got to do with Christmas, absolutely nothin’, nuh. Of course, intellectually, you know, they probably just threw out the chicken meal, (hopefully some dishwasher ate it, but maybe not), and therefore my brothers’ dollars probably paid for another chicken’s death because of my meal, just as surely as if I had put the flesh in my mouth. But, what are you gonna do. Christmas is the festival of sin, and I’m just some HomeGoods cashier, not someone who designs holidays, right. It’s not important what I think.
But then—and I won’t go into this fully, because people who are outsiders to the life in my head won’t understand; you’ll just think I’m a nut, because I got very unconscious—in my head I dealt very poorly with being told, I don’t know, implicitly this and that, Stop making noise stop dragging me down, don’t be a burden. It triggered my fear of abandonment and sin, you know—lots of childhood regression going on. (I can kinda see it happening with my nephew, too. “You’re not a good little boy if you don’t sit still! If you’re not a good little boy you’ll be punished like the slaves!”, but nobody is seriously concerned with, Look At Me, I’m Important, because that’s what his parents do. They would just rather he say, Look at YOU; YOU are important!! Lol 😆…. And there was certainly a time when I thought I was important, you know; maybe there’s a vestige of that in not wanting to be called bad, you know. “But I love you! YOU are important!” —Please. Get a better job; then you can flatter me.)
Anyway…. I don’t know, it’s like, Go to the dentist! Find your own way to fry there! Sheesh! [I wrote, Go there, but fry kinda says it lol.] And then I’m like, I’m being abandoned; I’m becoming sin…. And certainly not a lot of trust going on inside me.
Maybe I too think that Jesus is limited by time or place, like he takes the bad days off, you know. 🥺
…. Of course, she mostly talks about the poor, and maybe a bit about doubt or unconventional liturgy, but not as much about queer people, the way her friend the famous Rachel does—who I in turn picked up once upon a time thinking I was going to get girl pastors stories, not thinking that some her peeps might be queer and not worried about all the things I was, you know.
And I guess I’m like that, too. I’m diagnosed, but I wouldn’t talk about mental health sociology and stigma if you paid me. (I’m an Aquarius; there are a lot of things you couldn’t pay me to do, though I’m happy to do anonymous random person work.) I don’t know whether that—ally-ship over self/own community promotion/advocacy—is culture is some kind of attainment, so, yeah; I dunno 🤷.
…. Personally I sometimes, if not always, feel a comfort with the churchy old guard, (even if maybe I don’t represent the whole demographic they need to win, or whatever), even if I do also want them to change. Sara talks about Jesus not “caring” about “church”. Some people, when Jesus starts to sound too much like a troublemaker, start looking for Paul. “I sure hope you guys go to church,” said Paul. But that apostle himself, didn’t, know what it was like to have a cushy Victorian colonial or Victorian British job—quiet years of scholarship, you know. Sometimes they would beat him up and leave him for dead. Maybe Paul would be more at home in the ghetto, in the housing projects, that Sara spent time in, right. Right on the edge of everything greater, and a punch in the mouth.
…. I mean, I guess that’s the problem I had with that conservative-Anglicans-of-North-America-breakaways girl—it’s like, Make your bed, and say your prayers for your parents and the czar, and don’t fuss over things, unless it’s fussing over tea time; and it’s like, it’s not that that has been completely wrong for me, nor even that it isn’t a sort of mixed blessing, but it is kinda crazy, and many Episcopalians aren’t so different from ACNAs, you know.
…. I guess that’s what Sidney meant in the last part of his memoir, although I confess I couldn’t understand it, really—being the GI Generation, the USA myth, and the Santa Claus myth, it built us up in our youth, at least in a way, but it was also a lie, at least in part…. So now, what do we tell our children?
…. It’s big of her to risk inadvertently getting dumped by her family—“you’re not normal like us anymore! You’re not like all the other Californians!” (although CA is great, lol—West Covina! California! (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”)—even though as a queer woman she barely even had a home life of her own to begin with. At the very least, it was much more assaulted to begin with than a straight person’s, as such. So it’s big to maybe give that up. “Baby you’re bigger, than me.” (“Backstreet Boys”—LOLZ).
…. But, you know….
Ie, just one more thing: