The past couple of months have been some of the hardest I have ever gone through. For the first time in my life, I am realizing that all I had planned for my future from my elementary days is coming to an end. I never really thought beyond college, other than ambiguous plans of wanting to be Wonder Woman and eventually having a family. But it seems I am now unraveled at every point.
So many questions are rising up inside of me, centering around a discontent with how my life has been lived and a philosophical shift from all my misconceptions. A lawsuit involving the Christian leadership at the university I attend set something off inside of me. Beyond all of the mudslinging and God-siding, I see an issue of people. Valuable time is being wasted. How sad is it that we would go down this road yet again, integrity called into question and effort spent on issues other than love? My heart breaks for the state of the Church and longs for the real meaning of life, waiting breathlessly for what it means to live in His Kingdom.
Most of all, I long to feel the inward collision of the old life with the new. The slavery of the American dream is not enough to live for. In evaluating my intentions and aspirations over the last couple of years, I can see myself inching toward emptiness, a comfortable life and passionless loneliness—afraid to take the high road because of the risk involved in giving myself to others. People use and take and usually don’t know how to give back or appreciate your heart being put on the line. But ultimately, failure to give results in life-suffocating breaths. May I never be found in such a position.
What does it mean to live richly? To see beyond big projects and actually care for people? I have to confess, my heart has not been in the right place. Too easily I am concerned about finances, being taken care of in the future or making a statement with my life. In fact, the most comfortable thing to me in the world would be to live a life of church affluence and housewifery. My tendency is to not fight for my community when the road gets hard, when sacrificing means laying down everything within me … or when the ideal does not measure up.
What does it mean to build community? Caring for people should flow out of being in community. I long to see the Church be the skin of Christ, more than a one-hour, weekly pit stop and masked smiling session. Breathing redemption and exuding the life of Christ happens when servanthood launches into friendship, authority stands as a beacon of hope and holistic community operates on a daily rhythm, not just a one-time trip of selflessness.
As money comes more and more into play, may I be known as a recovering evangelical. As the temptation to stay comfortable becomes more and more enticing, may I run even harder. Yes, His Bride is still alive. Now I just need to find how that translates into my everyday life.
My prayer is this: Oh, that I would love God daily, never giving up. Never ceasing to trust in His future by setting out with the sunrise to be the healer of the blind, deaf and imprisoned.
“But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this worlds tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together. The simple way is not the easy. No one ever promised us that community or Christian discipleship would be easy.”
– Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution