Constant Construction

August 25th

Under construction...

My faith journey is quite a bit like sewing — a bit of perceived progress here, a bit of seam ripping there. Your comments to Sunday’s post about the “Novelist as God” have spurred me to once again consider what I believe and why. I’ll leave it to poor or rushed writing, but I absolutely did not mean to infer that I don’t believe in the Bible. For the first time in my life, I’m regularly reading the Bible and trying to understand the foundations of my faith. That said, I lead a life of social justice-fueled faith — one where everyone (and I mean everyone) is loved by Christ. Everyone is eligible for forgiveness. Everyone is expected to treat each other with kindness and great love in return. I am incredibly lucky to have found a church that promotes and supports this way of thinking.

So, when the authors of the Bible say that I’m not equal, I bristle. One commenter astutely said the Bible isn’t politically correct. So true. The politics of the time were completely different. Can you imagine sharing your husband with your sister and raising your children together in one giant tent of disharmony? Leah and Rachel did, loving and envying each other their entire lives. Or sacrificing your first-born? Or wandering the desert for 40 years? (How about 40 minutes? I think I’d be exhausted.)

The truth is, my view of the Bible is no more right or wrong than anyone else’s. Faith is completely personal and my relationship with God is too. There are several tenants of faith I’m currently working on, including humility (not my strong suit), obedience (ever tried fasting? Not easy.) and not being judgmental. I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve yet to meet anyone who had it entirely figured out. That’s the beauty of this journey — it’s never-ending. We get to keep searching for understanding and meaning in a relationship with God as long as we are willing. It’s like one of those around-the-world plane tickets that never expires. Each new arrival is a land of exotic appeal with both happy and sad lessons to be learned.

Books that have changed and encouraged  my view of faith include: “The Red Tent,” “Lamb,” “The Alchemist,”  “Love in the Time of Cholera,”  “The Poisonwood Bible,”  “Blue like Jazz,” and what I’m currently reading, “The Irresistible Revolution.” I’ve got “Velvet Elvis” sitting on my nightstand ready for the next read. (And while we are talking about media and things I need to change? Oh, this move to cable is slowly sucking my brain dry. I can actually tell you quite a bit about the Kardashian sisters and why I like them. Time. To. Unplug.)

~K

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15 Responses

  1. Matt is bringing Shane Claiborne (author of Irresistible Revolution & Jesus for President) in to Springfield to speak to his college ministry group in January, and apparently we’ll be hosting him at my house. I am already somewhat cringing at what he’ll think of my privileged suburban lifestyle, but I am also really looking forward to hearing him speak.

  2. Great post. I cherish the overall lessons from the Bible on a macro level–how to lead a good, moral life. I don’t get too caught up in the details that may be time-period sensitive, but will pay attention to details of kindness, love and equality. (Ex: My God doesn’t think I should be submissive to a man–no way!) I agree with you that faith is a personal relationship.

  3. I loved reading The Red Tent. Since reading it, I’ve been plotting making my own red tent to erect in the backyard for when I need alone time. I have actually purchased a teepee pattern designed for children that I’m going to modify to fit my adult size and then paint different symbols on the outside. It wouldn’t be so much for my moontimes (what I call my menstrual cycle) as I’m way past that stage. But there are still times when my female hormones ask that I be left alone — and that’s kind of what I’d like now and then, alone time to contemplate and find my spiritual balance.

    Except series of posts, Kelli!

  4. You’re such a brave woman to blog about your faith. I haven’t the gumption. Not to mention I’m SURE my liberal/feminist views would upset someone…so I stay out of it all.

    Best wishes on your spiritual journey, though! You go girl!

  5. That fabric for a pocket is really pretty. What is it? I love your views on the Bible and your relationship with God. I get the feeling that they line up with mine. And as for cable, we’ve been seriously considering pulling the plug ourselves. However, the hubby is wavering since college football is starting lol! Celebrity news is such frivolous fun isn’t it? Too easy to get interested in their lives and the craziness of it.

  6. Kelly,

    You are a constant source of joy and encouragement to me. I sometimes wish I lived out west as I would love to meet you, but alas I am a GA girl, hee.

    Anyway, to get back to what I was saying… I admire your dedication to your faith and love the fact that you claim to not have it all figured out; in my opinion knowing we do not know it all is half of the battle… hee! Anyway, keep up the crafting, the soul searching, the complete openness and loving spirit that make you – you. I love reading your blog and hope you continue to share your journey. Love ya – Lisa

  7. lol. I love the seem ripper analogy. Oh and Blue Like Jazz and Irresistable Revolution are two of my favs as well.

  8. Talking about faith is not my best subject, nevertheless I can agree with you about our journey in living our lives the best we can. The only goal I achieved till now (but I’m almost 48 so this took a long time)is to not be judgmental because only if you are in someone else shoes you can completely feel their ways, and at the end you can’t know everything about someone else life to completely understand what they are experiencing.
    Long way to go till next achievements.

  9. The Bible is hard for me to read. Since I am LDS I feel like it’s easier for me to read the Book of Mormon. But both books have wonderful Christ like stories that strengthen my testimony of him. Nobody should be judgmental of you or your feelings. xo

  10. Oh Kelli….I think you are not alone when you talk about your journey through faith. I especially admire your thoughts on social justice-fueled faith..Do onto others as would have them do onto you. Wouldn’t life just be peachy keen if every one felt that way. Continue on with your search. I believe continuing to educate yourself will only keep that mind of yours open to all the possibilities.

  11. I too nbelieve in a social justive-fueled religion. I grew up learning to be tolerant as well as trying to live my life with compassion, kindness,love without judgement. The Bible is my favorite book, but times were very different then and we all need to take that into consideration when we apply the book to our lives today. Woinderful post as always kelli. Good to catch up with you.

  12. Loved this post! You wrote it so honestly and — well, along with my own beliefs — so of course I love it! 🙂 I think when pondering things such as this, PERSPECTIVE is key.

    Have a great day!!

  13. Thats the best thing about living..
    the learning
    and the growing..

  14. Velvet Elvis was great as well as Blue Like Jazz. Boy, I wish we could peruse each other’s book shelves. Hope all is well!

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