No, don’t search the sidebar. I mean, in my words.
I stopped writing about God.
I decided, with the New Year, to stop writing in this space about my Christian faith. I decided to do that sort of thing in other places, and in this place to just be secular. You know, secular. Like my ebook, Unleash Your Wild. Right?
Don’t you think I look good secular? It’s sort of appealing. It’s like an old, familiar look. I’ve been trying it on like a dress from the back of my closet.
Can you blame me?
I am so done with living in this stupid canyon, seeking to tie the bits of string together. I’m so done with trying to justify why I call myself a Christian when I am consistently resistant and challenging and rebellious. I’m so done with defending the way I speak for change and justice and authenticity and the way I tear down walls.
I’m done with getting funny looks and feeling like Jeremiah and drawing fire.
I got all overexcited one day when I thought it was working. I thought I was home and it was real, and belonging had finally come for me. But then I lost the thread. (Various things. Unbloggable things. Personal things.) I took the note from some voice — which voice was it, anyway? — and I pulled back. I decided that part of going “pro” for me was going to be breaking this habit of writing all the time about Jesus.
My brother, whom I adore, who happens to be a Marxist and a literature professor, calls it the “J” word. He likes my writing, of course, I mean, why wouldn’t he? But like many intelligent and highly educated people, he’s just not that into the “J” word.
Well, fine. Maybe I’m not either.
And then there’s this book manuscript. I’m trying to get people to read my story, and although it is a BIG GOD story, what it isn’t is a CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE story. I am not capital-C Christian enough for the Christians, and I am way too Jesus-y for everybody else.
So, here I am, again.
Can you see me?
Stretched across this gap, between Christian culture, which is, like, so not me, and the gospel, which is everything I am, and everything I long to be.
It happened again, like it sometimes does. I was trying to navigate this canyon, and I fell in.
I think this is a long way of telling you that this choice, to not write about Jesus here on my blog…was maybe not the right choice.
I keep crawling my way along this road. This long slow road through the canyon.
That image first came to me the night before I was baptized, when I had a dream that the youth group of a big red-state evangelical megachurch showed up to beat up the youth group at my radical social-justice-loving city church. A girl who had two moms was hiding in the bathtub.
I wrote my pastor a letter after that, saying that now that I was baptized, I didn’t feel like I could stay on my side of the battle anymore. I figured that if you were going to get the lion and the kid to lie down together you have to tell them each different things. And I figured if we were going to live this gospel thing, for real, we were going to have to step out, carrying our white flags, into the open ground between the camps.
That was four years ago.
For four years this is the pattern I have lived. Step out. And fall. And let somebody pick me up again. Step out and fall. And let somebody pick me up again.
It feels so lonely… all the sin in this world, and the disappointment. YOU know. But every time I fall, somebody picks me up. I swear. Always. It works. I went for a year without the Internet and proved that there were real people, in real life, who would hold me up. And now I live in the woods and blog a lot and my spiritual life is mostly based in pixels. It’s ironic maybe, or maybe just the truth of it, but these days usually the people who pick me up are people I’ve never met.
Whatever. It works. Ask, and you shall receive. In spades. An arm on either side, and the road keeps coming up beneath you, even when you can’t see it for the dark.
I guess this is a long way of telling you that I’m going to write about faith again, even though it sucks and some of you don’t like it. So, I guess…Brace yourselves?
This is my road to walk. And I can’t find the ground beneath my feet unless I walk it. Long, slow road to an open heart.