Laurie Brock remains the ONLY Celebrity Blogger who owns a horse. And while we think she takes this whole "circuit riding" clergy thing a little too seriously, how could we not name Nina the Official Horse of Lent Madness? Laurie is a long-time Lent Madness contributor who successfully shepherded Francis of Assisi to the Golden Halo in 2014 and we're thrilled to have her back this year (not that we gave her a choice).
The Rev. Laurie Brock, Distinguished Celebrity Blogger is a returning Celebrity Blogger because she loves getting free coffee mugs and receiving celebrity red carpet treatment at Episcopal gatherings. One of those things may not be entirely accurate. She serves as the rector of St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky. She blogs at Dirty Sexy Ministry, is the co-author of Where God Hides Holiness: Thoughts on Grief, Joy and the Search for Fabulous Heels (Church Publishing), and is also a contributor to a forthcoming book about the real lives of women clergy. A reality series on E! is surely coming soon. She is also the creative force behind Fifty Days of Fabulous from Forward Movement. She frequently shares her quirky, snarky views on faith, Alabama football,and popular culture on Twitter at @drtysxyministry, but don’t follow unless you can laugh at yourself and your religion. Otherwise, you’ll just be offended. When she’s not doing priest things, she is riding her horse Nina, the Official Horse of Lent Madness.
1. What is the single most inspirational place you have ever visited (besides your own church).
The cash store in Hayneville, Alabama, where Jonathan Myrick Daniels was martyred. At the time, it was derelict, but the concrete porch where Jonathan died is still there. Walking from the jail where Jonathan and his companions had been held to the store where he would die in the same sticky, hot month of the anniversary of his martyrdom was a moment of discomfort and transcendence on both the physical and the spiritual levels. With all the weeds, the concrete, and the memory of the murder in the space, nothing about the moment seemed particularly inspirational, and yet it was a tangible reminder that God and holiness are present often in the places that seem most unholy and mundane.
2. Share one unusual fact about yourself with the Lent Madness public.
I am weirdly brand loyal about certain foods. Most items I buy whatever is on sale. But I only use Duke’s mayonnaise (full fat - I don’t understand low fat mayo), Camellia red beans, and Crystal hot sauce. Fortunately I can find Duke’s and Crystal in Lexington, Camellia beans, however, I have to special order or buy in bulk when I’m in Mississippi visiting family. I return to Kentucky with a trunk filled with enough red beans to survive the zombie apocalypse.
3. Of the saints you've written about for Lent Madness 2017, what most inspires you? What most disturbs you?
Francis on both counts. He will always be a favorite because I blogged him to the Golden Halo. In that process, I read all of his writings that remain and discovered a faithful man who spoke truth to the church power. He had little to no use for prince bishops and those who would use their religious influence to gain power in the political realm. He preached that following Jesus is bothersome and uncomfortable and demands we sacrifice comfort and personal power is inspiring…and challenging. Too often he’s reduced to a kindly man who loved Jesus and animals. Not that his love of God’s creation is a negative, but even that aspect of Francis was and is edgy. He had no use for lukewarm faith. Our habit of diminishing saints from the trouble makers and truth tellers they were into cuddly people who didn’t challenge us to see a broader vision of God is a disturbing habit of the church, and one we would do well to change. [EDITOR'S NOTE: We said Lent Madness 2017, Brock!]
4. If you could get just one tattoo this Lent, what would it be? (besides the Lent Madness logo and "none" is not an option).
Probably one of a horse giving the side eye to the world on my palm. I could hold it up during church meetings and prevent eye strain.