sometimes i wish that Christianity (as i know it) was more folksy.
i’m talking oral tradition and stories by the fire after a good meal. i wouldn’t even mind the whole "circle-up" concept when it came to community gatherings, where everyone is front row and has a face. there’s just something about the simplicity, the accessibility, the interactive factor that sits well with me...feels as if it comes naturally...but i guess i should probably pause here and explain myself.
(what i’m not saying is that i don’t value the Bible. in fact, i treasure it. i marvel, admittedly insufficiently, that i have the words of God, the Creator, my Papa written down and at my side whenever i reach for it. i rejoice that i can depend on the words i read to be valid, and that they’re not the production of some random street corner soap-boxer or his cohorts. i value the Word as Truth, on it’s own...and i’m not asking for embellishment. i’m not anti-"church”, nor anti-"Church”. i don’t think that theater/row style seating is a stumbling block to the Christian faith...)
it’s just that in the past few weeks as i've been dialoguing with God and processing some recent experiences, He's awakened a sort of restlessness in a few areas of my life--and i'm living the results of that. i'm finding support and clarity in words, and i feel compelled to share. here goes the journey...
part i. tell me a story
my love affair with history laid dormant for a good portion of my life. i was a whiz-kid at memorizing dates, mini-biographies and geographic locations. i knew what i was taught had importance, but i was (still am) the girl who needed connections...and for me, those connections needed to be with people. i needed someone to weave the narrative tapestry back and forth between “my present life” and “their past existence” in order to actually care/learn.
and thankfully, that “someone” came along and was followed by many other “someones” who were/are all master weavers, master story-tellers. these teachers--artists, really--began to show me how the characters we read about and the dates we learned were actual people and actual days of their lives. through their teachings, i began to see how something like “the boston tea party” wasn’t always a bold-face, red-letter textbook sub-heading, but that a group of people really did get fed up with the way their lives were being shaped and chose to act upon it. and that individuals making up that group absolutely did have feelings, fears, passions and families who may or may not have supported them. and that it’s even possible some of them went home and journaled about it afterward to try and make sense of what. just. happened.... and then (and only then) i loved history. and still love it to this day.
and for me, the story flows pretty similarly when it comes to the Bible. when speaking from the Bible becomes just names, dates and dead people (and reading from the Bible is synonymous with browsing an aisle of hallmark-y cards)--i check out. fast. but the Good News is, that the Spirit is a better Teacher than the most inspiring and intriguing one’s i’ve had in and out of classrooms. and even better--that the stories He tells weave the narrative tapestry back and forth between “my present life” and “His past, present and future”. and those stories are infinitely more captivating than all of history that i’ve learned about in school (and that really, all of those stories fir into His anyways...) and that blows my mind. because it’s not just a story about me and Him. it involves so many epic (and hidden) moments, people and places...
but more on those, them and there next time.