I took a long walk last night. “One Voice” was on repeat. I’m not sure who heard me howling at the stars way out over by the Bold Centre, but it didn’t matter. Growth and change seems to bring about division and chaos between people. Sometimes its needed; other times, not so much.
I know my voice is sometime discordant in trying to explain about my personal faith journey; about how the conservatism in bible college suppressed or twisted much of my faith, as did my some of my own choices. That’s only one example. And it’s not like bible college was bereft of good, loving people who supported and loved me. The conversation would have to go deeper than a blog post. I will say that my hope is, after all this free-falling phase in my faith shift, and I get my bearings again, I’ll be able to look back during those darker times and see it all more clearly.
I know other people’s voices towards me have sometimes been discordant and harmful. Using God as an ally or weapon, they have put me in my place as it were. I’ve felt speared away from the church… judged… berated… condemned. A few years ago I wanted nothing more to do with church. Period. It took some watery guts to walk back into another congregation and actually sit down. I deeply desired Jesus. It was the people I was collapsing under.
I’ve lived in big cities and small towns. I’ve been around, y’know? But this remote small town I’m living in has such incredible racial divides… petty family feuds… refusals to forgive… refusals to believe in change in people we were hurt by… refusals to acknowledge or desire to be with LGBTQ people… gossip (oh sorry: “reliable sources”)… and every “well-planned” event for some stupid reason NEEDS booze. And the “I told you so” game is so normalized now, no one sees it as a shame-game children play.
But the glimmers are here. Like the stars last night, shining their very best without the moon to detract attention, this town has so much to offer… and more. And it does! We do. Neighbours helping neighbours… parents caring for other people’s kids while other parents go to work… people connecting to create supports for one another. People choosing to live differently, be differently, walk differently.
So I belted this tune out last night. We aren’t all bad. We aren’t all great. But we’re here, and so many of us want to be ‘together’ on this road we’re walking. Others aren’t so sure, but they’re walking at their own pace. Still others haven’t heard about the journey yet and, I’m sure, when they hear of it will run to catch up.
That brings a lot of peace in the present and hope for the future.