Sunday, August 16, 2009

Faith Barnacled

Someone loaned me a book that I haven't had time to read yet. (I have time to sneak in reading or writing, but not both, it seems.) The book, a memoir by Pete Gall, is titled 'My Beautiful Idol.' As I have not yet read the book, I am neither recommending it nor critiquing it. The reason I am mentioning it is because I did have time to read the comments/recommendation page in the front of the book and I read something interesting that I really liked. Here is part of what Bill Enright wrote about Pete and his book:

"Amidst his search, he stumbles on a stinging truth: his life plan is unreal, for he has made an idol of all the virtues his evangelical faith and suburban lifestyle have tattooed on his soul. In the end, he returns home to where his journey began, albeit with a scarred bravado and a faith barnacled but more transparent."

Aside from never having lived in suburbia, I somehow identify with most of this statement. I feel as though this idea of "a faith barnacled but more transparent" is what I'm going to end up with or at least what I'm trying to end up with. So many times I find myself thinking something that was a part of what was "tattooed" on my soul growing up and then I have to take a step back and ask where it came from. Is it something that is in the Bible or that God revealed to me or is it something that is part of a religious tradition that someone made up at some point and has no basis that I can find in scripture? It's not just that I want to abandon that religious tradition. I want my faith to be barnacled in the sense that it has evidence of a journey and to be transparent and something I can easily talk about to anyone. And not in a condescending or judgemental way. In a humble and true-experience way.

Sure, I don't know what my life or my faith is going to look like ten years from now. But I know the last thing I want is for it to look just like the stereotype of a married, working-mom, Christian. It is not my place to judge how other people work out their own salvation. But it is my place to never stop working out mine.

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