On Being a Christian and Being Tired

There are a lot of great things about having kids, but it definitely changes your processing style. Gone are the days of dropping everything to think, research, be angry, stare out windows, figure stuff out.

So, yes.

While the rest of the world moves on to newer news, I’m still mulling over the World Vision decision/retraction news from last week… reading articles and absently passing crackers to Ollie in his highchair while Iris takes large bites straight off a block of cheddar. (Not kidding about any of that, btw).

And I don’t know if this is right, wrong, or ignorant, but given that I only have a limited amount of energy to spend engaging on social media, I generally try to restrict myself to topics where I have some chance of being informed. I know a lot about being female in a Christian fundamentalist world. I know something about abuse and childhood trauma. I have a distant shot at adding to conversations about marriage and kids—if only because that’s my parking space these days. And I don’t know anyone who likes to get contentious about the murder mystery genre, but if that ever comes up in my feed you can bet I’ll be on it like white on rice.

But here’s what I think:

I believe no single group has the right to define what it means to be legally married in a secular country. Honestly, I find it kind of bizarre that this is seen as a debatable issue in our culture, but there you go. Apparently it is.

For people attempting to live out the Christian faith as understood in the Bible, of course, the issue is slightly more complicated. I understand that, because I also tend to take the Bible seriously in my personal life. Which, let’s be honest, is a bit more complicated for women than for men. So I’m used to questioning things and having to find my own way a bit. But I absolutely believe in God. I am blown away by the humanity and deity of Jesus. I have no problem affirming anything in the Apostles’ Creed.

And yet.

This week has worn me out.

I’m tired of being told that love and righteousness are in tension. They’re not.

I’m tired of being told that you can love someone and reject them at the same time. I literally do not understand how that’s supposed to work. (And if I hear the “woman caught in adultery” story one more time on this I will punch you in the face. The next time you save a gay person from being murdered, you just might have the credibility to comment on his life choices.)

I’m tired of seeing the word TRUTH in all caps. Please stop.

I’m tired of the idea that correct beliefs are mandatory while correct actions are optional.

I’m tired of people pretending there aren’t genuine Christians on every point of this spectrum and debate.

I’m tired of having my spirituality questioned because I can’t be suitably condemning on this. Trust me, it’s not that I don’t believe in questioning my spiritual commitments.  I question them all the time—when I speak in anger to my kids, when I fail to check in with a friend who’s suffering, when I get myopically and exclusively focused on the little doings inside my own house… But I have never questioned my spirituality for being too compassionate. I’m not sure that level exists, but if it does it’s probably like a bonus round they give you if your heavenly welcoming party gets held up. In other words, that’s not the test I’m worried about failing.

Mostly… I’m tired of waiting to hear back from my church.

Faith is a hard thing.

Hope is a hard thing.

Love, I think, is the hardest of all.

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3 thoughts on “On Being a Christian and Being Tired

  1. Beautifully said. Have been heartbroken over the world vision debacle. Probably a good thing that I don’t have a soapbox to stand on because I’d stamp my foot so many times I’d make a hole and fall right through. But thanks for putting the words down. Lovely lovely words.

  2. “I’m tired of people pretending there aren’t genuine Christians on every point of this spectrum and debate.”

    That really hit me hard. It’s a great point and one that is so frequently lost. To be honest, I’m not fully sure how I feel about the World Vision situation. Down here in the South people were all enraged when they made their initial change in policy and then cheered when they changed their mind again. It’s an interesting place to be when Christian related things go down, that’s for sure. I too am tired of people proclaiming that others aren’t real Christians just because they don’t feel the same away about an issue.

    In general I find that Christians have a tendency to focus on the wrong things, or perhaps it is more accurate to say we put emphasis on the wrong things, we pick at specific details and make a big fuss over them, but miss the big picture about the impact we have on the world. I find we sometimes come across at the group that wants to tell everyone what they CAN’T do, rather than sharing what it means to be and feel loved by Jesus, to help people grow in their faith and to help make others lives better.

    Hope this comment makes sense. If it does not, please blame it on the fact that I am now also very physically tired.

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