she told me their church had split and that people were saying terrible things about them. i nodded my head and listened.
silent, i nodded.
churches are trouble, i thought. churches are the problem. they’re so messy, i thought. and when i looked out on the landscape of faith, i felt hopeless.
but i was wrong.
i tried to be a church planter a couple of years back and more than churches being unsafe or poorly run, i realize now that i have bigger fish to fry.
it really isn’t churches that i don’t believe in anymore.
i don’t trust myself.
it is odd to go from sprinting into a church to not bowing your head when everyone else is praying.
it feels like a jacket that doesn’t fit.
it’s strange to look at the very spot you once waited for the holy spirit to come and speak to you, to speak to others and to walk down a different row now to avoid it.
it’s not easy to hear someone say “jesus” and wonder at their backstory, where they’re coming from and what they are missing.
because they have to be missing something.
just like i missed something.
just like i didn’t get it somehow when i was so sure i was doing it right.
“maybe they’re just hurting, too.” i said to her. “maybe they don’t know which way is up right now, just like you.”
and she smiled a little and shook her head.
when things fall apart it takes a long time for the dust to settle.
when things of eternal value fall apart it can take years.
it’s going to take a new creation, a thousand years of evolution, to bring about a single cell to start again.
sometimes it feels that way.
but it’s alright.
i walk through the woods and think about the god endeavors once so big that have vanished like morning mist. i see my husband up there and our kids climbing on rocks, staying still as leaves float down on top of their heads.
and i’m here, too.
it’s going to take some time.
it’s not the church’s fault or god’s fault or even mine really.
it’s just people.
just people out in the woods, trying to find a way to say how thankful they are for this one beautiful life.