When does one decide it's time to grow rather than to fight? When is enough enough? When is walking away from something selfish, and when is it self-compassion? The other day I got completely told off by my teabag. It was a seemingly calm and innocent morning: I was sitting by the woodstove, enjoying a... Continue Reading →
God isn't in some far-off place that can only be found when we try really hard to change who we are. Nor does God dwell only in sanitized boxes that feel small enough, safe enough, and familiar enough to handle. And leaving the church or your former traditions you doesn't mean you're leaving the one place where God was, walking away from the divine and into the dark beyond.
People thought they were passing as being loving. Heck, maybe they thought they were being loving. But as an outsider, I could tell. I could smell the difference between love and fear a mile away. I knew the difference between having a real conversation and wanting to get your point across. I might not have acted like it in the moment, but I knew what was happening. I knew if people were scared.
For the preceding few years I had belonged to a tight-knit church group where people didn’t really do things on their own. Not the big things, anyway. People didn’t just start a lifestyle that looked notably different than the rest of the other group members.
I wanted to find something out here, under the sky and beneath the trees, some sort of answer that didn’t lie in millennia of religious sects arguing about who was right, more right, and the rightest of them all. Maybe this weary soul just needed to be done.
I really do believe that loving the vulnerable is a central part of what it means to be a Christian. But I took this message too far, to the point where I believed that caring for myself was at odds with caring for others, and that my worth to God was directly dependent on how much he "used" me to save people around me.
So given that reality that some people and some marriages are not okay, what are we going to do about it? Reach out to those who are hurting and provide ways to help them heal? Or show contempt at those who reach out while pretending to have no issues so more people will be drawn to your religion?
Twisting this to say that anyone who is a "real Christian" will see miraculous healings and a supernatural relief from burdens is not the gospel. Writing that people who struggle with their faith, health, mental health, relationships, etc. struggle because they just don't take their burdens to Jesus is not the gospel. You cannot take a gift and make it into a rule. That is not Christianity and never has been.
Who has the greater character: one who needs others to back down in order to feel strong, or one who continues to feel strong in the presence of other strong people? Who is a greater man: a man who values honesty in the woman he loves, or a man who needs her to stand back so he can feel brave?