In the contract for this book, Molly Wolf agreed to write "a collection of vignettes drawn from life, interspersed with meditations on where theology intersects with real life." She has fulfilled that challenge with aplomb. Wolf's Christian perspective is traditional but filled with glints of rebellion and an interest in exploring odd angles. For example, she reflects:
"Maybe others want God to be a black-and-white figure, a figure of neat divisions and clear-cut Law, but I want God to be in flagrant swirling Technicolor. I have seen what it is to be a Very Good Girl, and I'm not sure that's what God's goodness is like. I think God's goodness has a fair streak of mischief. Or so I hope."
Perhaps that is what enables Wolf to look at a green bug and marvel at its intense biochemical activity and its ability to fly long distances. She gives God thanks for the miracle of its being and recognizes no human hierarchy over insects like so many others who envision God as a maker of such distinctions.
She is grateful to the Creator for her having survived an abusive marriage and for her ability to move beyond a personal betrayal. Again and again, Wolf salutes divine grace as a ballast in her life. Here is another example:
"Now, as I stand in my kitchen, I find myself suddenly hijacked, bowled over, sprung upon by a brilliant light happiness, the equivalent, moodwise, of the yellow at the very center of a full-blown dandelion. These moments catch me, and I feel held in them momentarily, endlessly. They pass, and the normal strains and problems are still there. But just for a moment, now and again, I feel as though I have been mugged by Joy.
"This feeling comes back: I got jumped by it a few weeks back, if you can get jumped by something as thick and deep amber as honey. I thought: It's so good to have you back; will you stay with me a little while? But Joy needs to get around, to be spread. We shouldn't be jealous or possessive. Let this moment happen, it said; don't ask it to wait until you've got time for it, but don't try to hold on to it either. It may need to go on along to the next person who's waiting."
What a wonderful passage brimming with an appreciation for the tiny epiphanies that light up our lives but cannot be grasped and contained merely for our own pleasure. Another sign of grace is God's continual love for us. Wolf sees this as an undiminished resource. In her commentary on Jesus' encounter with the woman from Samaria, this emphasis comes through loud and clear.