I spent the day yesterday with two friends of mine, Brad Jersak and Peter Fitch, both theologians. Brad lives out in western Canada but comes to St. Stephen’s University every semester to teach crash courses.
He was out this way and actually asked me to come and join him for the day! How cool is that?
Brad’s wife Eden was with him so the four of us hung out. Lisa had to work and Peter’s wife was away. We sat around talking and drinking coffee. Then we went out for a walk and for lunch. Talking the whole time!
Usually I’m at home alone drawing, painting, and writing all by myself. But yesterday was a rare experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I learned many things, but one thing has stuck with me:
It seems I go as far as I can comfortably go in one church or denomination until I can’t go any further and I have to leave.
From then on I’m lost in the wilderness.
First, I try to find a new home that will embrace me.
Or, like now, I finally, like the desert hermits of old, settle in the wilderness and make it my home.
I’m cool either way. I can visit churches. But the desert is my home now. I’m fine with that.
But what was neat about the visit yesterday is that Peter has loved me all through my journey. We met way back in 1995 and his love and respect for me has not changed. And Brad, even though we’ve just met this year, has a love and respect for me that I can tell will bridge time and change.
This was a very liberating experience for me. It made me feel like I can still call home home. I’ve always said “Christianity is my home but I have cottages everywhere!” And this felt especially true yesterday.
Even though much of the church and Christianity has rejected me, I do not have to reject it. And I don’t! And I won’t! My understanding has gone so much deeper than that so that it embraces all of it.
I recently explained it this way:
I used to be inside a cup of belief. But now what I know fills the sea! I do not throw away that cup of water I used to believe. Rather, it gets subsumed into the sea. The sea embraces it all. I do not reject it. It gets absorbed into all that I am. All that we are. All that is.
So yesterday, as I was sitting talking in the presence of love, all that had gone before was assimilated.
Things were added and multiplied. And the sum was grand!
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Peace, joy, and love my friends!