Sometimes, I feel like books find me, rather than the other way around. This was the case with the book I am recommending today: Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a pastor ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and she serves as the pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Tattooed and often profane, Nadia has said that she is “surprisingly unconcerned with what people believe—because belief is going to be influenced by all sorts of things that (she) has nothing to do with.” Rather, Nadia says that she is responsible for what people hear—and there is a transformative and healing power to this kind of sermon.
The short chapters of this book follow Pastor Nadia through the liturgical year, starting with All Saints Day, as she encounters ‘accidental saints’ in the least-likely of people—including a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA.
The confessional-style of her writing allows us to witness Nadia stubbornly, and often quite humorously resist the God she feels called to serve. We also get to experience her encounters with grace which are at times funny, sometimes tragic, but also vulnerable and profound. It is these experiences with grace that are truly the heart of this book.
Our shared humanity is messy and complicated. Throughout this book, Nadia’s love for humankind shines through in each story—and this is something that will ring true for believer and skeptic alike.
Check out Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz Weber or other inspiring works like it at the Sioux City Public Library.