I hope Anne Lamott doesn’t mind if I sit here and analyze the title of her latest book. It is on my bedside table, and I haven’t even opened the first page. I’m reading two other books, my new self-imposed limit. One fiction and one non-fiction. Beyond that, my mind and book pile get too disheveled.
But I am very much looking forward to reading Hallelujah Anyway. All I know about the book is its title, a bit about the author, and the fact that it comes recommended by my mother and one of our family friends.
Without having read a single word of the content, I cannot get the title out of my head. Hallelujah Anyway. Anyway? Hallelujah? What does that mean?
Hallelujah: God be praised (uttered in worship or an expression of rejoicing)
Anyway: used to indicate that something happened or will happen in spite of something else
Oh, *^@#! Hallelujah anyway? Aren’t we allowed to choose when we feel like rejoicing — when things go the way we want?
How do we rejoice in spite of a broken heart? God be praised in spite of illness and loss? Rejoice in spite of fear and sadness? In spite of racism and terrorism and power and shame and hate and crime and injustice and unexplained hardships and grief?
Hallelujah Anyway – I’m not even sure how to begin reconciling and understanding those words. But maybe that’s not my job. Maybe the reconciliation is one of those mysteries meant to be surrendered to, to let go of, to be.
I’ll let you know if I ever make it past the title.