not so different.

Sometime last Spring I went to Bible study like normal.
We had just read a book about the author’s pursuit of justice that uprooted her family from the suburbs to the city and eventually sent her on a short term mission trip to Africa.
The book felt like a journey that I was just beginning.

I read a lot.
And lately I have been reading more books on justice and poverty and compassion.
And I am growing tired of my suburban mediocrity.
And I am starting to read less, and do a little bit more.
Not much. But a beginning.
I’ve been asking a lot of questions.
And my faith has started to feel slippery and loose beneath me.
Lines are graying. Theology is being examined.
The only thing that feels solid is love.
And I figure that is enough.

So I get to bible study, and I love this book.
because of what is says about community and justice and all those questions that are finding their way into my head.
And some others in the group. Not so much.
And as the discussion progresses some of my statements draw some strong disagreements and concern.
And before, I had kind of thought we were all on the same page.
And suddenly I realize we aren’t even reading the same book.

And I drove home sad. Feeling different.
And most of all alone.

And it wasn’t just bible study.
Other friendships seem to be moving in opposite directions.
We laugh a little less. We offend a little easier. And there less common ground.

And realize that pursuing this path is taking me away.
Making me more different.
“Edgy and risky” - words used to describe my writing from a friend meant as a compliment.
But. I don’t really want to be edgy and risky.
Because I think edgy and risky also means alone.

That I can pursue these things that have been laid on my heart.
By myself.
And I do.

Or I can go back to what I know. What is easy.

And I know which way I am supposed to go.
But I don’t really like walking by myself.

And I see ugly things building up in me.
I’m judging people for judging.
I’m being awfully compassionate to certain groups and impatient with others.
I value my sweat over their checks. Time over donations.
Dirty hands over someone else’s prayers.
When both are necessary.
And lets be honest.
Very occasionally I am getting my hands dirty. The rest of the time I’m hanging out at Starbucks.

And even talking about this makes me uneasy.
Because it implies arrogance and pride.
Which are a few other things that I am wrestling with in this process.
Sometimes I feel inadequate and behind and not enough.
And others, I catch myself feeling better than.
Which then makes me feel horrible and question things all over again.

And somewhere over the course of last summer, some of these conversations started spilling out.
At first, in the worst kind of ways. Rude snide drunk comments.
And later in healthier places.
Over a burger with my husband.
Over a cup of coffee with a friend.
On a couch with another.

And I still feel a bit alone. Even though when I look around, I never ever am.
And maybe it isn’t so much about being different,
As it is giving up my comfortable.
Stumbling. Slowly. Toward something other than a two car garage and a white picket fence.
And I am pretty afraid of where I could end up.

And maybe it is about time that I start trusting that I won’t get there by myself.


Hyacynth said...

I'll walk with you.
I'm feeling grown and stretched and just very different. And I'm wondering if life might be taking us, too, beyond a white picket fence and 2.5 car garage.
And this was beautiful. I could really relate to what you are saying all the way from judging to hanging our at Starbucks more often than at our local shelter.