We have two sets of beautiful bay windows in the front of our urban-suburban house, one in front of the dining room and the other in the forefront of our living room. There’s a small window + large window + small window set up, with wooden blinds covering each of the three panels on each of the three sides. And then there are the blinds.
Oh, the wooden blinds.
They look good, mind you, but the strings from which we pull them up and down are a beast. Now I know some of y’all have super fancy, string less blinds, but we are not those people. We are the people with lovely bay windows and decent wooden blinds and annoying-as-hell, massively tangled pull strings for said blinds.
Most of the time the strings are one big, fat, jumbled mess crying out for me to show them some inanimate attention LOVE. Untangle me! Detangle me! Help me, Rhonda, help, help me, Rhonda!
And it can feel like all my time and all my attention goes to untangling that which is tangled.
My faith is the same way.
I believe in God. I receive the love of Christ, a love that is not for me as an individual, but is a love I believe covers all people, everywhere. So I take this Love Given Me, and I shove it in my back pocket or I bury it in my soul or I gulp it down by the mouthful, and I then try my hardest to then push it back out to everyone I meet.
I want to believe that it’s this simple.
Because it is.
But there’s a detangling of my religious past I constantly find myself wrestling with. There’s a detangling of black and white, and there’s a detangling of the should’s and the supposed to’s. There’s a detangling of right and wrong, and of who gets in and who stays out, and of everything I think I had to do and had to be in order to be right with the One Who Loves. There’s a detangling of belief that my faith should always be shiny and my insides should always be happy and everyone around me should be and do the same. There’s a detangling of rigidity that I think I’ll be struggling to loosen my entire life.
And there’s a detangling that I can’t and won’t sometimes find myself in the dark – and that darkness is then okay.
Like I said, there’s a whole lot of detangling to do.
I suppose that’s why I loved – and devoured – Addie Zierman’s latest spiritual memoir, Night Driving.
Addie dares to confront all the baggage that comes with darkness, a darkness many of us in our youth were trained like good little soldiers to believe doesn’t and can’t and won’t go hand in hand with faith. It’s a story that embraces the feeling that there might be more questions than answers, more gray than black and white, more not knowing than knowing.
It’s a book that gives permission and says, It’s okay. No matter where you are – in light or in darkness – maybe you’re right where you’re supposed to be. And maybe, if you’re a person who believes in a Higher Power, a God, a Christ, maybe this Light is right there in the midst of the darkness, too.
And if you’re still not convinced that you might be able to find yourself in her story, leave a comment below and win a copy of Night Driving yourself!
Easy peasy, man.
So, is there a detangling you’ve had to embrace, in your faith or life as a whole? Otherwise, have you read (and resonated with) Addie’s words before? Leave a comment, win a book! Winner will be drawn and announced on Thursday, March 24th – good luck!
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