Here’s a small confession : I’m writing something, and it will be published in paper and ink.
Here’s a bigger confession : I’m writing about faith, and all the forms it has taken in my life. The fullness of joy, the hollowing lack, the cries in the darkness and the tears in its light, the worrying gray somewhere in between.
I confess this now because it’s happening and I’m terrified and I want to prepare you, my faithful readers who have believed in me when I can’t quite believe in myself.
I have to put words to this.
In some measure, I have already been doing this. I have talked about faith in myriad ways here on this blog, in this nearly three years when my journey has taken the wild roller coaster ride through grief and goodbyes and grace. Most of the time, I try not to spell it out too overtly because I respect your space in my space and I want to make room for you. This blog is not a roadmap for me and my journey; it is a wandering pathway that I hope to walk with you.
More to the direct, specific point : language, especially when it relates to world views and religion, is weighty. The last thing I want is to be heavy-handed. When we talk about faith, we are talking about deeply personal and often deeply painful things. The more room we give ourselves in our words, the more common ground we will find.
Sometimes, this desire leads me into timidity, and I don’t have the courage to say plainly what it is I think and feel. Sometimes, it leads me into truth, where your story and my story meet, no matter how different we are.
And now, I’ve been given this opportunity to be really specific, really honest about this.
And I am wrestling.
I want you to know that I am wrestling with some of the hardest questions of my life. I wrote about 3,000 words of an 8,000 word assignment, and instead of finishing the piece, the rest of my thoughts came tumbling out in questions and tears and God, I am so freaking angry right now. I don’t understand. I have no more words for this. I don’t even know what I believe.
The piece will find its ending, and I think today I understand that this doesn’t necessarily mean that I will find my answers.
Yesterday, that thought worried me, that maybe I was being lazy or anti-intellectual or too timid to confront my bad theology.
Today, this thought gives me relief. Today this thought tells me that this – this rambling post about faith and writing – is what writing out my faith looks like, because it is hope in things unseen. Because I don’t have the answers, but I’m going to take the step forward anyway.
The words don’t exist on my page yet, but my faith and my story are real. They are coming into existence. It is all possible, even when I can barely utter the words – book, faith, grace, God.
I have only to be faithful to it.