Last fall I left the church I’d been a part of for almost 10 years and in the months since, I am coming unraveled. This isn’t elegant. It’s ugly. The work is unfinished with no end in sight. But I’m learning not to fight it. I’m not rushing anything. I don’t care how long it takes to heal. Meanwhile, I will not pretend that it is all okay. I’ve worn a mask for too long.
Through breaking my silence I am discovering the freedom of being free.
In the process of leaving the flock I’ve been wounded, yes. But watching my friends and family extricate themselves with matching wounds and worse has made me want to come unglued.
There is no easy answer for this. So please keep the platitudes and cliches to yourself. I know you mean well, but when you tell me not to let it get to me, I call bullshit. When you tell me that I can’t take on their pain, I call bullshit. When you warn me against bitterness, I call bullshit. And please don’t take it personally. I’m not saying that those things aren’t true or necessary. But in this moment the mama-lion in me is roaring. I will mourn with those who mourn, now in the time for mourning. I will not put aside my righteous indignation because it may make someone uncomfortable. I will not be silenced for the sake of social grace.
I will cry out, “Jesus, Jesus” with Blind Bartimaeus, drowning out the scoffers.
I may not look the tidy portrait of a Christian you want to associate with. I am so far from “figuring it out” and I stopped trying to have it together some time ago. So if you need to keep your distance I will understand – truly. Me-a-year-ago would have kept Me-right-now at arms length. Because Me-right-now doesn’t have all the right doctrine. And me-right-now lets four letter words fly a little too freely. Me-a-year-ago would have secretly envied Me-right-now for the freedom I abuse. Please believe me, I understand. And it really is okay. Because I know there is grace for me right now. And so much more abundant grace for Me-a-year-ago than I could have imagined.
His grace is not as easily frustrated as I once believed.
jesus jesus there are those who say they love you
but they have treated me so goddamn mean
and i know you said forgive them
for they know not what they do
but sometimes i think they do
and i think about you…
jesus jesus i’m still looking for answers
though i know that i won’t find them here tonight
but jesus jesus could you call me if you have the time
maybe we could meet for coffee and work it out
maybe then i’d understand what it’s all about
This song has been bouncing around in my head for two days now. It has no pretty resolution. You are forced to sit in the tension. That’s where I am right now – in the tension. Which is difficult and unfamiliar, because I dearly love happy endings.
For now I cry out Jesus, Jesus. It is enough.