Have you read 'The Shack' by William Paul Young?
It's a book that took the faith world by storm a few years ago (and then crossed over into the alternate-faith world too). I'm not sure that happens very often unless the book really has something to say. When I read it I was in the throws of a severe, isolating depression, having felt in search of spiritual answers and feeling completely thrown up and burned out by the church I was just plain mad at everything. Needless to say Young's work pissed me right off. I can't articulate why at this point, yet after last night I have a feeling it had to do with Holy Spirit's greater work in me. Like all matters of the heart they unfold in their own sweet time. It seems like years ago that I was in that torturous place but it wasn't that long- just a lifetime.
I Love authors, artists, musicians and people who trade stability for God-given creativity so when I heard that WPY was coming to Bottega I couldn't have been more excited! An author at Bottega, two things I adore. I went alone, something I do a lot lately. When I got there I was with my tribe, though! A sweet new friend invited my right up to the front row to sit with her and as a result I got to be in smile distance from this most wonderfully heart giving man I've ever had the privilege of meeting.
I madly punched notes into my iphone:
"believer is an activity not a category"
"self-giving Love was before time, space and matter"
"the greatest good is self-centeredness"
"the Holy-spirit is creative. our receptors enable us to hear the Voice. When something shatters the receptors [addiction, abuse] it is through art that they can be reconnected."
"trust your value aside from you as a commodity" [your ability to earn]
"95% of evangelism comes from our mistrust of the Spirit"
"secularization is half way to Jesus from religion"
"any theology of separation is false. We were chosen before the beginning of time. we have the freedom to un-choose not to choose"
"I Am. the million do not matter more than the one... the I Am." (we are all the I Am)
"I Am the way the truth and the life is the most inclusive of all ideas" (we have made it ex-clusive inside our limited mind of time space and matter)"
"our scars stay intact and are transformed into something beautiful just like the way God can make beauty from all the world's imperfections. We were created perfectly imperfect"
"I walked on my knees until tonight", I found spilling out of my mouth. Until I heard author William Paul Young and I found myself metaphorically •standing up• and believing what I believe.
.......alone. that is: walking on my knees alone.
Spiritually I had struggled on the periphery of the christian 'Church' (large 'C') with my strong belief in a God, a Universe that was not about duality, separation and earning one's way. I'm not a sinner for having been born or for being me. I've been dismissed as a misguided devil worshiper and a new age follower which, I decided actually fit my brand a lot better than a Christian. Yet for so many years I've walked the fringe, mysteriously finding friendship from within the christian community. What an alienating place to be for a thinker like me. My walk must fit my talk. I can't be a hypocrite, for living authentically is the only way I can live. I will never accept a lot of modern Christianity's interpretation of the Bible which seems to include apathy, laziness, war-mongering and ambiguity. Shouldn't spirituality be the most certain thing in one's life? Certain of course, meaning absolute knowledge that no one is right or wrong and that everyone is a valid being? That the universe was made from Love and therefore, we are Love and Loved by definition? That the ultimate mystery of all; time space and matter will remain perfectly a mystery no matter what you believe about your origin.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
I'm gratefully and unapologetically NOT on my knees anymore.