“Sometimes [salvation] comes as an extended human hand and sometimes as a bolt from the blue, but either way it opens a door in what looked for all the world like a wall. This is the way of life, and God alone knows how it works.” Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church
I stood in the middle of my narrow walk-in closet, like a child in the forest under rows of sweaters bowing their branches to inspect the crown of my head. My skirt crumpled to the floor around my ankles, I grabbed an empty hanger and I heard these words, “Blogging is saving your life right now.” And the folding chair of my frame collapsed on the floor with my skirt. While my family made sandwiches for lunch after church, I sobbed under the fluorescent cadence of my salvation.
Six months earlier, I lamented over leaving a writing job I loved. And started blogging.
That day in my closet, I realized my reasons for walking away from writing relationships with leaders and their stories wasn’t just about stepping out in faith to fulfill calling. God was providing a way of rescue.
My life built around the pew snagged on deep disappointment, unraveling my Pollyanna point of view. And the new friendships I made on-line with you here, in this space of my blog, they saved this season of my life.
Beginning this series six weeks ago, I was pregnant with expectancy. I asked the question, “How do we walk out our faith in the midst of pain, suffering, disappointment and loneliness,” and just like that unexpected experience in the middle of my closet, I was blindsided by the answer.
He revealed salvation anew, in the protection of my daughter in an early morning collision with a semi; that true Thanksgiving celebrates the gift of breath around the table of plenty.
Grief in leaving the only church I’d known in my seaside town found redemption among hundreds setting sail for new land, leaving wishful thinking strewn on shore.
And I’m echoing Peter, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)
I stood among strangers on a Sunday, raising my hands in Alleluia. With tears streaming down my face I realized that just like my relationship with God, I need church more than it needs me. Because death is cheap and life is costly. And in the communion of the saints, I stand eyewitness to His majesty.
In the last chapter of Leaving Church, Taylor responds to this question posed at a speaking engagement, “What is saving your life now.” For her, the answer was teaching school, living in relationship with creation, observing the Sabbath, encountering God in other people, committing herself to the task of becoming fully human.
My answer? Jesus’ loving me when I don’t deserve it. Redemption, it’s what is saving my life. That revelation found me crumpled in a heap in the bottom of my closet.
What about you, what is saving your life?
Thank you for joining this six-week journey of walking out our faith in the midst of hardship and difficulty. I have seen the face of God in your comments and emails; they give me strength for the journey.