I am an observer by nature – I see patterns and how things fit together, often in ways that others don’t. Sometimes I see patterns that probably aren’t really even there, but it is still looking for how this thing connects with that thing. I think that is one of the reasons that I love photography so much – often photography is seeing the things that might go unseen and capturing those moments. Sometimes it is a ray of light or a single flower or something eveb more obscure. Or sometimes it is a pattern like I have pictured in this post. Speaking of this image, do you think it is? (answer at bottom of page)
One pattern I noticed the other day as I was finishing a book called The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge is a pattern. that has run through several books that I have read over the last few months (list at the bottom of the post). In addition to the usual novels that I love to read, a theme of many of these reads has been re-orienting one’s faith. The re-orienting has come as a result of personal illnesses, difficult circumstances, unhealthy churches, philosophical and scientific questions, among others. The beauty though is that none have walked away from the faith but instead have grown into a new place in faith. It might not be as “orthodox” as some might want them to be, but there continues to be an earnest and wondrous seeking.
I think what I am finding in these writers’ experiences is some mirroring of my own. I am definitely not the same person that I was when I started this faith thing back in 1990. I am pretty sure that the 1992 or 1993 me might have a hard time recognizng the 2018 me (and that’s not just because I have less hair today than I did then). My following of Jesus has changed a lot over the last 28 years and I have gone (and am still going) through periods of deep questioning, wrestling, and reorienting. But I am grateful for the beauty of continuing to seek and finding wider, deeper, and more beautiful truths of God.
Books I referred to:
Inspired by Rachel Held Evans
Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler
The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen by Lisa Gungor
The Invisible Girls by Sarah Thebarge
Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue
A Bigger Table by John Pavlovitz
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (this one wasn’t a book on faith per se but a similar path)
Glory Happening by Kaitlin Curtice
What’s is the Bible? by Rob Bell (along with his podcasts)
Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People – by Nadia Bolz-Weber
PS – The picture – light shining through leaves onto rippling water near sunset (and made into a B&W picture).