My friend Tony once challenged me to only speak of spirituality that you can attach a story to. It was a calling to not merely be a theorist, but a practitioner of faith. It was an invitation to get brutally honest about where I am on my spiritual journey. After all, you can’t figure out where you’re going until you know where you are. I guess, these next bit of ramblings are a sort of landmark. It’s where I am now, for better or worse, but I most likely will not stay there long. Hell, there’s a good chance I’ll disagree with myself in a few years. I am not aiming to articulate some exhaustive and exact idea of faith. Instead, I offer a messy, incomplete story open to misinterpretation.
I think faith is like an old tapestry constantly being handed down over thousands of years. Some people spend a lifetime pulling the loose threads on the outskirts of faith until the whole tapestry unravels. They boast of their complex examination but sadly have nothing more than a pile of thread to offer another. Others spend their time excusing and even apologizing for the tattered piece of art. Instead, they offer shallow answers to comfort their crowd but the tapestry was never meant to be a blanket.
I’ve decided to allow the tapestry to speak for itself. I think faith makes the most sense with loose ends. I’m not afraid to say, “I don’t know”. I think doubt makes a great dance partner with faith. After all, I’ve noticed any good piece of art leaves us with more questions than answers.
Also, I think I’m in good company. See, I’ve found that most of the people that listened to Jesus talk about faith walked away with doubt, questions, and uncertainty. However, many of those same people would worship him as God. What if a prerequisite for worship is we don’t completely know what’s going on? What if Jesus is more interested in trust than certainty? What if the old tapestry was meant to have loose ends?
This is a story of 14 years as a vocational pastor. This is about the good, bad, and ugly of the church. This is about studying the original languages of the Bible while not caring about others. This is about hypocrisy and grace. This is two steps forward and one step back. Most importantly, this is about the beautiful tapestry that is Jesus. This is my landmark. Seems like a good enough place to start.