Has anyone else ever written a really great post and then navigated away from the page before saving it? Ok, let's try not to do that again.
I suppose that it's just as well, I was probably a little too raw, maybe a little too honest in what I wrote last night. The point was two-fold: first to explain a little more what's going on with me, second to thank the people who have written comments of support. I posted my thanks last night and I echo them again now. It really touches me that so many people understand the experience of loss after loss.
But here's the explanation, at least a partial one. I find myself in the process of rebuilding my life after leaving a job at a large evangelical church. That job was a dream for me, an opportunity to support people doing great work to expand the kingdom. But that dream turned out to be more of a hallucination. It turns out that the church was dedicated to growth, more people in the cause, more buildings in which to meet, more money to make it all work. In my mind that's not necessarily the kingdom that Jesus preached about.
I have no doubt that the leaders of that church sincerely believe that they are doing God's work and, to a very great extent, they are accomplishing wonderful things. But they are also leaving a lot of bloody and broken bodies in their wake. I'm one of those bodies.
What really hurts me is that I've made this mistake before. This isn't the first dynamic, growing church that I've committed to only to find that I really didn't fit the mold. It's one thing to make a mistake about which leaders to follow and which movement to join. It's another thing to make the same mistake twice. It tends to make one doubt one's judgment. It comes at a time when other losses in my world have taken their toll and left me weary beyond description.
I've started a new job that will engage my mind but will not break my heart. I'm leaving a beautiful home where I planted trees in hopes of a few summers in their shade. I'm leaving behind a ministry that I'd hoped would have been better prepared for my departure. All losses. Not nearly the whole list.
This afternoon I told a dear friend that I feel as if I've clawed my way out of a dark pit and I need to take whatever steps I can to keep from falling back into it. For now I think that means exploring what it life as a disciple of Jesus without being a Christian in the contemporary, western sense of the word. It means that I intend to be a monk in a hermitage, not in a desert, but in one of the largest cities on the continent. It means that I need to learn a new language for my faith.
I can see a little daylight now.