Things I’m thankful for today:
- Vacation this week. I didn’t think about work at all, and it was glorious. I was also able to widen my perspective and see the bigger picture.
- The gorgeous weather right now.
- Our newly remodeled bathroom.
Parts of the book really resonated with me, and parts of it felt like me, well, probably a couple of years ago, when I had a real crisis of faith and doubt in my own spiritual life. I had to gloss over some of this that felt like Evans was just stewing in her doubt or choosing to be counter-cultural just for the sake of it. Overall the book felt much like reading her blog–some posts you want to read in-depth and Amen profusely, others are just “meh,” and you skim. It really depends on where you are right now. I’m no longer searching, myself, and am pretty satisfied with where I’ve landed in my faith and doctrine. However, I’m also not so naive to think that other crises won’t arise, and I certainly don’t have a blase approach to life and faith. Things are much grayer than they used to be, and the light of grace and truth seems to shine all the brighter when we can say on certain things, “I don’t know, but I do know that love is always right.” I also enjoyed Evans’ focus on liturgy and her quoting from the Book of Common Prayer, once I got used to it. It struck me how evangelicalized (yes, I’m coining the word) I’d become ever since I started to interact with evangelicals in high school and fully became one. We get our panties in a wad about pretty much everything and feel that’s what we’re “called to do.” That’s how we “fight the good fight of faith” and “take a stand for Jesus.” No, Jesus loved. Jesus sought the still quiet place to commune with his Father when He caught a break from healing and teaching. The liturgy, prayers, and old, rich hymns can remind us of that stillness and peace that isn’t occupied with political stances and affiliations and intolerance but rather with being quiet and hearing the voice of God. I could really identify with this aesthetic of Rachel’s book. I just didn’t come away from the book feeling all that enriched. I felt like doubt somehow trumped faith in the final analysis, but that doesn’t work for me. It worked for a while, as I transitioned, but I needed to cement some absolutes. Not “right or wrong,” “black or white” absolutes, just things I know for sure to be true about Jesus and life under grace.