A Foot in Both Worlds

I do not know where I belong.

I’m not quite comfortable in the religious realm. I think it’s my own fault; I simply don’t play the game well.

It caused some major, if carefully hidden, waves many years ago when my pastor and church board came in contact with the reality of my past. Theretofore, I’d been the dress-wearing, piano-playing, homeschooling young mother of a rather large number of children, married into a known-to-be-Christian family of the region. I had merely been a two-dimensional affirmation of the cloistered self-satisfaction with which we savour our religious comfort. I seem to have broken some kind of rule there.

Oops.

I don’t fit with grunge Christianity. I find the flaunting of pasts and carelessness toward sin rather disgusting. Post-modernism is pointless to me. We might as while be Pilate and spend our time shrugging and smirking, “What is truth?”

I have no patience for false accusations of legalism against those who don’t believe the search for truth is a buffet line. I am distinctly in favour of a conga line. You know, with a leader and lively music, and waving hands while all following along where the leader’s headed. It’s better for the figure.

Sadly, the ecumenists seem to believe I’m of the Antichrist.

I don’t fit with “conservative,” “fundamental” Christianity–when not wearing a dress, it’s likely to be a leather jacket and jeans. It is my heartfelt conviction that tough and cute go perfectly together in a wardrobe. My biker-chick boots have little hearts in the tread pattern. This is heresy either way you look at it.

I refuse to follow rules that can’t be shown to have consistently-reasoned biblical basis. I have two shameless words in my vocabulary that cause shunnings, both related to donkeys and their by-products. There remain times when the most upbuilding thing to do for another is to offer a succinct offensio a tergo. Only speak such a word as is fit for edification… that’s my rule of grammar.

The staunch seem to believe I’m of the Antichrist too. Perhaps if I put on a meek face?

But I’m not very good at the religious-cultural version of complementarianism either. I hear I’m supposed to be quiet; not engage men in theology talk in case I accidentally teach them something; clean the house; and not think very much about things not pertaining to child-raising and husband-serving.

From what I can tell in my confusion, I don’t suit the various Christian cultural fads because I like hanging out with secular people (bad conservative!) without going along with secular behaviour (bad emerger!). I think it’s gross and pathetic for Christians to get drunk, when the Scripture they claim to be inspired by says outright not to. But I did my time walking wasted friends around the high-school hallways to sober up before class, and a glass of wine or a stout British half-pint doesn’t scare me.

Contemplating this state of affairs sheds a fair bit of light on what I am; as Conan Doyle would have it, when the impossible has been eliminated, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth. I’m just not sure where I might do best being it, in the long run. The only answer I have is, where I’ve been stuck. Seems a bit odd, but then it wasn’t up to me.

Healthy trees flex in a wind; dead ones break. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m just mostly dead. Maybe that’s the real problem; maybe it’s me. Inflexible. My mother warned me about a tendency toward that trait.

Thank goodness for shoots that spring from the hidden root, for the resurrection of trees.

I would like to be a tree planted by deep waters, that doesn’t lose its leaves in a drought, lends its shade in desert heat, and bears its fruit in season, come what may. A rather tough tree, with pretty flowers.

That, it seems to me, would belong.