Of sinners, saints and seagulls…..
(Gosh, I almost put out a cold tray of leftovers for you here again today
because I’m scared silly to wrangle free the words stuck inside.
But here goes.
Because a bad beginning is better than no beginning at all)
My life is a small one,
as lives here are generally measured.
My jobs have been many and unsubstantial and not even the measuring kind.
No fancy credentials. No letters after my name.
My time here on earth unimpressive,
a barely glance-worthy resume,
if I had a resume. Which I don’t.
If I were to muster one up, it would be underwhelming.
And yet mine is hardly a wasted life.
In fact I like my weird little journey,
even when I trip over messages that I’m such an underachiever
that my time here barely registers on the value-meter.
But I’ll wrap back around to that later in this series.
I think I’m stalling:)
What I really want to start tugging my words loose about
is my Christianity.
There. I said it.
Did your skin crawl just a little?
I understand the shudder.
Because we generally freak people out.
Christians even unhinge each other
unless we’re cut from the exact same strip of cloth
and sewed up tight and exactly like the next.
Which nobody is.
So it can be prickly business,
which is tragic since I think God is the least prickly being ever.
A few months back I brushed my words light across the story of my heart’s dance with God
and it was life to me to pour it onto paper.
Those were the easy pages. The sweet beginnings and where I’ve landed.
I want to go exploring through the come-to-Jesus years,
the messy in between
because I’ve grown more curious about this thing called “Christian,”
how it’s tossed around and flashed and fought over like scraps flung to seagulls.
“How can you call yourself a Christian and……..”
Many of my people don’t even use the word anymore.
Somehow it’s come to name a hurtful thing.
I want to go exploring. To tell my truth. And maybe discover healing along the way.
Because healing is only ever what I’ve always wanted to offer
and I’m one of them,
odd though my flavor may be:)
So come along or wait this one out.
I’ll be back for the next however-many weeks digging up old stories,
looking for buried treasure and sharing it with you here.
With all the love I’ve got.
“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have,
and what other people think about us,
we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations,
We will remain addicted to putting people and things
in their ‘right’ place.”
– Henry Nouwen
A great story Jeniffer and I love, love, love that quote of Henry Nouwen. A favorite author of mine. It really resounds with me… I have read some of his books.
Me too, Julia.
His voice is a bright light in a muddy-water time.
Thanks for coming over and sharing the post.
I’m glad to hear your kinds words,
Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.
Labels? Shmabels. Henry Nouven is right. Show me who you are, don’t tell me. And you do. And have.
The little things are huge in my world. And your ‘small self’ is a brightly shining star.
The little things are huge in my world, too.
Thanks so much for sharing here –
I love hearing your heart:)
Oceans of caring to you, too,
All lives have meaning – even if we live small ones. I believe in something bigger than myself – I*m spiritual – but have cast off the label Christian for myself. However, I really believe in tolerance – live and let live and love, I say. As for the messages of Christianity and all other religions: to love others as we love ourselves – I like that message.
Yes, love God and love others as we love ourselves. So simple.
It’s simple enough to trip up our egos, isn’t it.
Thanks for sharing that beautiful heart of yours.
Jenn, your humility is heart healing…your life would never be considered small by anyone who has a heart to see truth. Your journeys have been miraculous, to say the least. You come here every week and lay that, oh so precious heart out, for the world to read and keep in account.
You have accomplished more in your “small” life than most people understand in a lifetime of accomplishing letters after their names.
I believe in the almighty power of God, His Son, and HIS Holy Spirit, but to call myself a Christian by today’s definition would be misleading. I consider myself spiritual. I imagine that makes more people’s skin crawl or squirm as it musters bizarre images too. I am sure.
You are so loved. Gods speed with your words, your life and the current place your journey find you.
Thank you Lynn —- such encouraging words. Balm, really. Big smooches:)
And yes, I know what you mean. If feel the same way.
I love that we get to fly our freak flags and be just exactly who we are:)
Thanks for your kindness expressed so, well, kindly:)
Love to you Jenn. You’re right, talking about religion can be a sticky subject… like politics(!). I have experienced so much in my little ole life, and I am spiritual and a “Christian” but I am also…different…xo kath
I love that about you, Kathy:) I love that this life is not one size fits all.
Celebrating our differences with you!
Flying freak flags,
I am grateful for all of us who read you to be allowed on your journey in faith. And I have to say, don’t ever sell yourself short with words like “unimpressive” and “underwhelming.” Because to me, your great gifts impress and overwhelm me so very much, as does your big heart which is so full of love and savoring every second out of this big, weird, wacky world we live in.
Thanks for joining me on this “big, weird, wacky” journey:) So glad for your friendship:)
I think I’m pausing to look through my life through other possible lenses and seeing how those particular
perspectives could measure as unimpressive or underwhelming what I do or who I am. I think those cultural measurements
are something we get to challenge and even defy. It’s interesting to have a look – like standing in front of a fun-house
I so appreciate your encouragement, Jeanie:)
Such a treasure, you:)
I love the fact that you don’t fit in a box or hide your light. You share your heart and your gift with words and I think that’s what God has called us to do. Jesus was transparent and calls us to be the same. He did not have any earthly credentials yet made the most impact of any living being. You are changing your world one person at a time. I am blessed by knowing you….
Soooooo well said, sweet Nancy. Taking it in…..tall drink of water:)
I appreciate you, friend,
I love that we all have different religions and beliefs. That’s what makes us all unique. Share away…I’m always willing to learn about it all.
Exactly, right? Diversity is far from dangerous. It’s only natural. Look at the rest of creation.
Nothing cookie cutter about it:)
Thanks for being such a true one,
People with a huge heart cannot have a small, unimpressive life. You are anything but.
(whaaaaa – geesh, your kindness. so potent. thank you)
I appreciate you, Karen Stout:)
You shine so bright and true and I always want you as part of my little world. Things might be a lot simpler if we do away with labels, all of them, just show and accept our light and hearts.
Labels. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to un-see them.
i so agree and thank you BIG for your presence in my life:)
No, the word Christian does not make my skin crawl at all. I’ve had my own journey with Christianity which is still ongoing. Here’s what I know for sure – you are a beautiful person, loaded with light and goodness, talented beyond belief, and have made a mark on your many readers, making us think, sharing your beautiful writings and poetry and artwork… My words may be tangled up, but I think the world of you and look forward to reading your thoughts on spirituality and God. Bless you…
No tangles, Judy – just life and balm and a kind of a hug:)
Thanks for that. And for your kind, kind comment.
love this series Jen, spoken as only you can it resonates!
Bren:) So glad to see you:)
I appreciate your kind words and always your company:)