listening to "this america life" this morning on my long list of unlistened to podcasts, the tears fell down my face in buckets. it was dan savage's story about his mother's death that caught my heart so much. a major part of the story focuses on dan's conflicting experiences with catholic faith. i was struck again by the fact that so many people get to this place where the faith that they have been offered doesn't have the capacity to stand in the fact of other truths.
rob bell speaks to this reality in his book "velvet elvis". in bell's take people have not been taught that everything can hold elements of truth and just because that truth isn't being conveyed directly by sanctioned people or groups does not negate the truth that is being conveyed. my friend rashelle says "it's truth, it works. just because the person doesn't define themselves as a christian doesn't make it any less true" my heart breaks for people who grew up in the church and at some point feel they have to walk away. it hurts because i understand their reasons i have been at churches where i had no place and i have experienced the ugliness that can be done in the name of God. reading "dance of the dissent daughter" i understood and have felt all the reasons why sue monk kidd would choose womanist faith over traditional christianity. in many spaces there hasn't and isn't a space for women with in christian communities as leaders and teachers and people with something important to offer. yet even in the face of this, even while attending a church that doesn't allow women to preach i still couldn't leave the church. to me she is the corpse bride dancing joyfully and yet loosing limbs here and there. filled with life and yet not always whole, she bumbles on. i believe that one day she will be whole a jewel coming out of heaven dressed in splendor but for now like everything else she is a work in progress. it is my belief that those of us who call ourselves the follower of Christ are charged with helping to fixed the broken and bumbling aspects of creation making thing on earth as they are in heaven. one of those things is recognizing that all of creation and life bears the image of God and therefore truth is present and possible in many things.
i wish that we would choose to teach our children how to be wise but not afraid of life and the world. this is God's creation it was named good and even through it is chipped and cracked in places it is still holding some of that goodness. this was not the story i was raise in, i was taught to be afraid of everything in life...wisdom and discernment were things i learned but they were not offered as a means to test. one of the reasons i fear having and raising children of my own is that i do not want to transmit fear of creation and life, rather i would want to offer my children thoughtfulness and wisdom and curiosity and faith and love that overcomes fear, seeks justice, and loves Jesus and in turn loves people. i am working on cultivating these characteristics so that on the off chance i have children i will be able to pass on faith like that of dan savage's mom...not rattled by things that don't perfectly fit with in a box of faith but the understanding that for those things to be true faith doesn't have to be thrown out the window.