I stumbled upon a great read this morning from the blog of one of my new favorite writers, Rachel Held Evans. This article is brilliant because you could actually take each instance of the use of the word “alcohol” and replace it with “food” and it could have easily been an interview with me. I will be so bold to say that I think ALL human beings practice some form of numbing or coping, some of us just seem to take it to the extreme and end up dealing with addictions. Perhaps all of us could benefit from some form of the 12 steps, at least in theory. The formula could definitely be applied to churches. The steps deal HONESTLY with denial, confessions, forgiveness, reconciliations, righting of wrongs, helping others, moving forward. Who couldn’t use a dose of that?
One of the greatest things that I have discovered in my recovery group on Tuesday nights is simplistic and obvious. People just want to be heard. The “meetings” that we attend are rich because people can share and relate to each other. There is so much power in honesty. I have found that most of the ladies in my group are eager to offer their points of view, their pitfalls, and their triumphs. It’s actually a nice picture of what real community should look like within the faith community. True vulnerability without judgement. Real talk about real issues. If I’m being honest, it looks a lot like how I hope the world of women’s ministry might look like someday. I hate the way we gather as women within the church. It feels so cheesy sometimes. Forced. Put on. I don’t want to go on a women’s retreat to have some woman (shamefully plugging her books and websites) telling me I’m precious. Babies are precious. Baskets of puppies are precious. It’s condescending. I don’t want to hear about the spiritual gift of gardening. I don’t want to hear about The 5 steps to a hospitable dinner party. I want to get REAL. I want my faith to grow and my life be refreshed. I want to have honest and true friendships with the women in my life. That means we might get ugly and share ugly things because we hoard ugliness in our hearts instead of dealing with it, out of fear that someone won’t see us as “precious” and put together and conquering everything. I want the performances in church to end and for the REAL truths shared out of our hearts…in the open, gentle and loving light of God to set us free and change our lives.
Wow. Sorry for the passionate detour.
Please take a few minutes to check out this interview. It’s really good!