Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunday Frump

I work in an office, a tall, shiny glass building filled with desks and ergonomic chairs. In the morning, I assemble my slacks, blazer, knee-highs and camisole. I pack my work shoes in a bag and walk to the Metro in my sneakers. On the train, I stand amid people who are also wearing this morning uniform, sort of a clothing mullet: business on the top, party on the feet.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Desert: Looking for a Map

I'm not in a good place. I feel frustrated. Let down. Lied to and strung along and abandoned in the middle of a wasteland.

It doesn't feel like depression. Being depressed walls you off from the bright, busy world and shuts you up in a dark and empty place. You want to get out there, where life is good, but you can't. This is different. Here, I'm not separated from the world. I'm just sick of it. I don't want to write, because there's nothing worth saying. I'm usually a chatterbox, but now I don't want to speak a single word. I don't want to read, or spend time with people, or listen to music, or knit, or do anything, because everything seems pointless-- a way of crowding out the silence and the anger inside.

That crazy dash to cover up the God-shaped hole? I see Christians doing it more than anyone else. I sit through a worship service and yawn at the syrupy music. I wince when a pastor brags about the souls that God gave to him to save. I read a religious text, and wonder how anyone could believe the smug, hateful garbage that we as Christians keep putting out. Here's a concept I thought I understood: the Church gets it wrong sometimes, but God is faithful. Turns out that when the Church is really getting on my nerves, I have trouble believing in God's faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Into the Desert

I was taught that Christians are the only people who understand what the point of reality is. I was taught that everyone has a God-shaped hole inside, and that people who don't know Jesus spend their lives in a mad chase after temporary, fleshly passions, trying to ignore the God they think they don't need and trying to fill the void with things that don't fit. But Christians, we lived life with full satisfaction in each day, because God was with us. I was pretty content that I knew everything that really mattered, and so this made sense.

Then I left Rhea County and found that I was taking a different shape. For one thing, I learned some new synonyms. What we called bleeding-heart liberalism was called compassion by my new church. What we called the reign of secularism was called social justice by the Roman Catholics. What we called being ashamed of the Gospel was called humility by the saints. My brain stretched out to accommodate these new ideas, and I found that the God I'd brought with me from Rhea County was starting to rattle around loose. As I learned more about Jesus, that void got bigger, not smaller. And God didn't fill it any more.