So….I might be ready to write again. MIGHT being the key word. Every time I’ve tried to pick up that Minor Prophets study I think of the first sentence…and I just put the whole damn thing back on the (imaginary) shelf. I’m not even the same person who started that study in so many ways. The doubt about my writing skill or even my right to be so bold as to think I have a story to tell or a message to deliver comes in waves. Not little boogie-board waves…big giant “haul me out into the ocean on a jet ski so I can ride this wave for a mile” kind of waves.
I also think I’m ready for God to raise up another Dwelling group for me to lead. Which is a HILARIOUS thing to say. I don’t even have friends. Who on earth would I invite??? COMICAL!!!
I can say with full assurance that Jesus is more real to me than ever and that I’d have NOTHING if I didn’t have him.
But everything else…the constructs and traditions that Christendom has put into place over the last 2000 years…that stuff I doubt. What I doubt is the ugliness of politics, war, misogyny, bigotry, racism, class-ism with the word Christianity attached to it. I look at my friends who think that this life…the life of a Christian…is some easy, straight-forward cake-walk and I have doubts. I may have totally misread but I’m almost certain that there is some stuff about DYING DAILY and CARRYING A CROSS and BEARING ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS in the Bible?
There is no leaving this God I love but sometimes I think I must be doing something wrong because my walk is not the easy, sunshiny road that I hear other Christians talk about with trite churchy phrases. I wonder…do they really believe that saying the words “Give it to God” to someone who is in a dark place is getting their hands dirty for the cause of Christ?
“In this life you will have trouble…” feels like my theme verse these past couple of years and yet I wouldn’t trade anything for this journey. I’ve come to far to lay it down and walk a different road. I wouldn’t trade the doubt and the questions for all the shiny clean bumper sticker Christianity in the world. Every question I’ve asked…every doubt I’ve faced…every trial I’ve been given has brought me close to the only one with the answers…and I wouldn’t trade the gift of meeting the Divine in my sleeplessness, tears, and desperation for warm, cozy, and comfortably numb for anything.
I feel like I’ve spent my life answering Jesus’ question from John 6:67 “Will you leave me too?” with “Where would I go Lord? Where would be far enough away that I wouldn’t miss you? Where would be far enough away that I wouldn’t see you in every beautiful thing I lay my eyes on? Where is there to go that your voice wouldn’t be audible in my ear saying the word that has started every sentence you’ve spoken to me for almost 36 years…”Child…”
There is nowhere to go that he isn’t there. And though that is the question I’ve been answering all these years…it is also the answer to every questions.
if you are thinking of maintaining a kind of Dwelling group on-line, I think that would be great. I know there is something to being in person, etc, but there are also things like ‘Hang-outs’ in google+ which can host a room. a kind of “in the meantime” sort of things. maybe we can work through that study, a refine as you go sort of thing.
my threshold for platitudes (however sincere) is through the roof and entering the atmosphere. I’d rather a “I don’t know what to say” than a phrase you borrow in emergencies. of course, knowing the deliverer of the words makes a difference (for good or bad)…
sometimes, when I consult my map or review my chapter outlines, I wish I knew where I was going. It is reassuring that when I am standing still and alone or confused (or both) He is with me still–likely: he was probably shouting at me to pull off the road and ask for directions!