Andrée Seu Peterson: Seventeen minutes


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, April 16th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

We have mentioned before that WORLD has published three books of classic essays by Andrée Seu Peterson. What we’re about to hear is one from the first volume, titled “Won’t Let You Go Unless You Bless Me.” Andrée wrote this column back in June of 2005. It’s about a condition common to us all.

ANDRÉE SEU PETERSON, COMMENTATOR: These are the thoughts of a woman driving home from the Stop ’N Shop on an ordinary day.

She conjures three comebacks she could’ve hurled at Ellen had she not been caught off guard. She spots the baby shower invitation on the dashboard and hatches excuses to be busy that weekend, then thinks better of it because she has a favor to ask the sender at a later date.

She sizes up a woman standing at the bus stop and judges her. She stews over a comment her brother made behind her back, and crafts a letter telling him off and sounding righteous in the process. She reviews the morning’s argument with her husband, and builds her case against him for the evening installment.

She imagines how life would have been if she had married X. She magnanimously let a car merge into traffic, then is miffed when she doesn’t get her wave. Somebody rides up the road shoulder and budges to the head of a traffic jam, and she hates the driver with a perfect hatred.

She passes the house of the contractor who defrauded her and fantasizes blowing it to smithereens. She passes Audrey working in her garden and waves but thinks, “If Audrey has chronic fatigue syndrome, I’m a Flying Wallenda.”

She glares at a driver who runs a red light, forgetting she did the same thing a mile ago. She mentally touches up her upcoming woman’s Bible study lecture on Ephesians and considers how she can improve it and make it better than Alice’s talk of last week.

She is angry at God because here she is a Christian and broke, while her good-for-nothing heathen of a brother is rolling in dough. She wonders how her parents will divvy up the inheritance and how long she has to wait. She rehearses reasons why her sister and not she should take care of the folks when they’re old. She thinks about her childhood and counts the ways her parents have screwed up her life.

An SUV cuts her off and she decides to punish it by tailgating. Her hearts smites her for this, so she thinks about trying to live righteously from now on. Maybe if she is good, she thinks, God will reward her in some amazing way like making her husband divorce her and then leading her to Mr. Right.

She tries to pray but doesn’t get past “Our Father.”               

She pulls into her driveway. Total driving time: 17 minutes.

And if you were to ask the lady, as she rustles parcels from the car, what she has been thinking about on the drive from town, she would say, “Oh, nothing in particular.” And she would not be lying.

Imagine believing that we don’t need a Savior.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Andrée Seu Peterson.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Andrée Seu Peterson: Seventeen minutes

  1. Jim O says:

    Truly the ugliness of our human condition. Wow!

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