that monkey book.

Monday, October 28, 2013
I've gotten so far away from writing over the last three years. Sometimes I am not sure who I have become or what happened to that nurse after she came home from working abroad for a few months. I miss her in a lot of ways.

I am learning that she is buried somewhere deep inside.

You may have heard all the rage about Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans. If you haven't heard of it you should just stop reading this post and order the book instead. I am 109 pages in and I could have written nearly every word myself. Other than attending a private Christian college most of what Rachel writes about is my life.

I am learning that keeping it all inside helps no one. Least of all me.

I started reading about Jesus last night. To be honest it isn't something I've really done since I lived on the small island of Hispaniola. Sure, I've read a few "Utmost for His Highest" posts and attend church on the regular. But really feeling like I know the Christ part of the "Christian" I claim? I couldn't even tell you how long it's been.

Rachel and I would be friends. She too thought she knew all the answers and from what I can tell so far she was overwhelmed by an Arab woman being murdered on public television following a gang rape...something about her being disloyal to her husband. Christianity says she is now in hell. Rachel saw the footage and it turned her angry. Angry and full of questions. I get easily angered by stuff like that. I always have. Over the years my unfocused anger has simply turned to apathy. And apathy to complete and utter indifference.

I wish that I knew what my reason was...that I could remember my Arab woman that made everything different. I don't.

Some of it comes from death I've seen. The poverty. Some from the fact that I just like my non-Christian friends a lot better than my Christian ones. Some of it is simply that I don't trust people and I don't trust God. Much of that is rooted in the chaos that left scars on my soul working in a Haitian hospital. Some of it is from watching my hospice patients die and in that moment wondering if their soul actually goes some place. Most of it is that somewhere in all of those messes I forgot about the man. The man that was God that came and loved and died. I know that if I can't believe in him and his mission then none of the rest of it matters anyway.

So I started reading about Jesus last night. Some of it was inspired by Rachel and her questions. Some of it is simply because my soul has been aching for a couple of weeks and I know that there must be something that can make it feel whole. Something more than lots of wine with the greatest girlfriends a gal could ask for.

Rachel says that her most honest answer to the question, "why are you a Christian?" is that she was born in the United States of America. As was I. I was born in the Bible Belt to phenomenal Christian parents who work in ministry, in the perfectly reformed church that knows the answers to all theological wonderings, to the middle class, straight, Caucasian, in 1985. I "won the cosmic lottery" as she calls it.

Unfortunately, that has been my honest answer to that question since October of 2010.

I realize that there is only one person who can possibly change my answer. His name is Jesus.


Anna Grace said...

this is beautiful and makes it impossible for me to ever post mine. ;)

i love you.

Valerie said...

I love getting to see your heart. Rachel scares me, challenges me, and encourages me...

i love you

Bobby said...

maybe we can talk about this post sometime. I wrote a comment but it did not post…maybe that's good. it was too vulnerable i think.
bottom line…i came maybe to where you are landing from a very different place 2 years ago thanks to paul miller. and i hope to never go back.

Justin Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin Scott said...

Hmm so it sounds like the Scott kids (and perhaps the Scott parents?) have all independently had the same faith crisis in the last few years. Wow.

My own crisis has led me to push back on the notion that "Christianity says she is now in hell." I know Randy Pope and John Piper would probably say she is, or the Bible teaches something like that. But C.S. Lewis wouldn't have. Neither would Billy Graham, John Stott, or N.T. Wright. So my understanding of 'what Christians believe' has been widening -- a lot -- and I've found it to be a difficult but healing experience. I hope your crisis leads you to a similar place.

Can't wait to talk more about this with you. Peace.

Justin Scott said...

PS - To clarify (sorry, it's late), I don't mean that I hope your crisis leads you to where I am. I mean I hope you experience healing. I love you.