Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Life is a Mixed Bag...

Hi Friends,

Well, among all the crazy continuing kidney stone drama this week, something fun happened:  I received my first copy of Wrestling with Wonder, hot off the press!  It reminded me that there is joy and beauty even in the most difficult and painful times. 

So, I thought it would be fun this week to share a couple interview questions that I’ve been asked about the book and to remember that, like Mary, we are all on a journey … and on this journey, life usually doesn’t go as we expect, prayers are usually not answered in the way we anticipate, and there is no trial or circumstance that cannot be redeemed by the One who walks with us on this strange and amazing journey.

So, here are some questions and answers:

Q:  What is Wrestling with Wonder anyway?

A:  It’s the story of Mary.  It’s the story of you.  It’s the story of me.
It is the real story of a surrendered soul…
It’s a journey through a life that will look surprisingly like your own…
It’s an adventure of discovering God where you didn’t expect Him to be …
You’ve never seen Mary, or her God, like this!

Q: Since Wrestling with Wonder is called a “transformational journey” how were you changed or transformed through the writing of this book?

A: This book changed me, transformed me, at the deepest levels. And it wasn’t because I saw Mary more clearly, I was because I saw God – vivid, beautiful, perplexing … and so unlike the bland prayer-answerer-santa-in-the-sky that we often believe him to be.  Through wrestling with Mary’s story, and my own in the context of hers, I encountered a God who blew away my expectations.  I found him in my own heartaches, in the life’s-gone-awry moments of those close to me, in tears of a woman who lived thousands of years before me. 

When I sat with her in a dirty, stinky stable, when I raced back to Jerusalem, panting with fear over a lost son, when I stood at a crowded doorway and heard him say, “Who are my mother and my brothers?,” when I knelt with her at the foot of a cross and listened to his breath stop as the sky turned black as pitch … I found God in the dirty, stinky, fearful, hurting, black-as-pitch places in my life too.  And I hope, I pray, that readers will take this journey with Mary and I and discover God in those places too, those places in their own lives where they never expected him to be.

Q: Do you always write about wonder?

A: I’ve written about many themes, but the thread that runs through all my work is discovering the wonder of God in everyday life.  This is what I say on my website, which I think captures the theme and the dream for my writing:

Pause for a moment and remember back to when you were a kid. Do you remember running through the sprinklers, arms outstretched? Blowing bubbles that caught every shade of light? Catching your breath at the sight of a dragonfly? Do you remember the laughter, the joy … the WONDER? Now glance around you. Has your life turned out just as you expected it to be?

If you answered yes, you’re in the wrong place. But if, like so many of us, your life hasn’t turned out just as you dreamed it, well then, you’ve found a place to call home. For thirsty souls yearning for a VIVID God, for the hurting, the disillusioned, the struggling, the weak, and those longing for more of God, come, journey with me into WONDER . . . You’re welcome here.

So, there you go, friends!  I’m remembering that even when throws me a curve,
when things don’t go as hoped, to look for the wonder, to find the beauty of my Vivid God …
yes, even this week!