there’s an idea popping its knuckles inside of me right now. i’m really trying to reach down inside of me and feel around inside of my roots to tell you what is going on in my head but it might take a minute. thanks for your patience.

i have found myself dancing around in a lot of intimate relationships with people with whom i disagree. personally and politically, theologically. during the formative years of college i landed smack dab in a group of people with whom i began to disagree on fundamental issues. i was challenged there, raising my angry voice in response to comments, sassing people whom i felt needed a good sassing. i did what i felt was best and used my voice in the service of a newfound insistence on equality. 

i grew there, with my activism and skepticism as constant companions.  i grew from an angry cynic and became a hopeful skeptic. i still bounce back to the anger and i still remain grounded in the things that make me feel different, an outsider. i grew within the community as we faced challenges together and as i felt safety and love in the midst of our disagreements. i grew too when i left that place and walked into a grown up world where every day i encounter someone who is different from me. i am growing still as i realize that change occurs in increments and we all need some foot-washing and forehead kissing to get through our darkest days.

one day a man i was dating asked me how i remained close friends with those with opposite political opinions than mine. i remember being perplexed by his question. the answer is that my life is richer because of these people and my relationships with them. my life is not cut and dry- comfortable for being surrounded by people whose worldviews directly mirror my own. i struggle every day within my intimate relationships to reconcile our disagreements. the answer, to me, is that love and community are tarnished by stubborn insistence that we all believe the same.

These words remind me that

 perhaps rather than expending our energy proving that love does fail, we should spend our time, our life and our activism making sure it doesn’t.

Here I’m reminded that relationship trumps identity. conversation, knowledge of others, and transparency grow us as human beings. when we aren’t intent on changing everything about another person, we grow. when we open our ears to listen and seek each other, we grow. that in the end…

It is about sitting down at a table together and sharing our views as human beings, engaged in real, respectful, civil dialogue.

Here i am reminded that

we know that any faith worth a damn is a faith worked out over a lifetime of relationships with other people. It’s a commitment to and with other people, is all. Church is just a commitment to try to live a life of a certain quality, a life of love, of humility, of service, alongside others whom you will care for and allow to care for you, even when you are difficult. It’s a group of regular old humans trying to love each other and the world in superhuman ways. And so it’s a hard way of life, but to me, the only way of life that makes any sense. When people ask me if faith, if church, is comforting to me, I say – sort of. But mostly it’s challenging.

i have always been a seeker and a lover. i’ll continue to question. i’ll continue to walk into institutions and church buildings with a quizzical, skeptical look on my face. but i will continue, every day, to insist that at the root of this rich life i have… to any life worth a damn…is a commitment to love.

 

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