What is a blessing? Do you have to believe to receive one? Can you doubt while you pray? And can you extend grace to others while still desperately in need of it yourself?
Once a week Episcopal priest Adrian Dannhauser stands outside her Manhattan church beside a chalkboard sign that reads Ask me for a blessing (because God knows you need one). Passersby stop, chat, and ask for prayer: for a sick friend, an addicted son, an upcoming job interview, the state of our nation, or the grief of our world. Bus drivers sometimes open their doors for a quick prayer before the light turns green, and someone once took her to meet their doorman so she could bless him too. Half of those who stop are in crisis. Someone always cries. A few are simply curious.
Through the heartfelt, frank, and sincere stories of her unique ministry, Dannhauser offers glimpses into the tender, holy, and sometimes hilarious moments of sidewalk prayers. With a potent blend of reverence and irreverence, as well as insights from Christian scriptures, she delves into the power that ancient ideas--blessing, forgiveness, miracles, and prayer--hold in a disenchanted world. For people of Christian faith, other faiths, or no faith at all, having spiritual conversations, even awkward ones with strangers on the street, can help us face our vulnerability, where we may discover a grace sufficient for all.
About the Author
Adrian Dannhauser, priest in charge at Church of the Incarnation in Manhattan, has been featured and quoted in the New York Times, BBC, and Religion News Service. She chairs the Episcopal Diocese of New York Task Force Against Human Trafficking. Before entering ordained ministry, Dannhauser practiced corporate bankruptcy law. She holds a BA from Duke University, a JD from Vanderbilt University Law School, and an MDiv from Yale Divinity School. She and her husband, Jess, have one daughter.
Rev. Michael Bruce Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.