Eastertide. That is our season for the next 50 days. We have moved past the inward journey. We have moved to a season of resurrection. As a way of celebrating this season of new growth, I will be examining 50 ‘What If’ questions over the next 50 days. Resurrection is not always synonymous with joy. It does not always come in the face of happiness. Sometimes the most honest resurrection takes places in the hospital waiting room, the treatment center or the jail cell. Resurrection is a mysteriously glorious experience of life existing in the face of death. That is our season, may we begin…
What if our doubts and questions give us deeper faith?
Years ago, I read a book called The Sacredness of Questioning Everything by David Dark. I was not ready for all of the gifts of this book, but my journey began. One of the biggest struggles in asking the questions that were mulling in my mind and heart came back to my role as a leader in a faith community. What happens to the people that I am leading if I begin to question (in some public way) all the things? What you must know about the Christian church world that has been my home for more than four decades is that we like answers. Western Christianity finds hope and security in the things that we know. I have been taught that over and over again. The best leaders are the smart, studied, sure ones that know how to reassure the people. This was a foundational lie that defined my ministry. Because here is the truth:
I don’t know.
I said it. And this time, I am saying it from the deepest depths of my gut. The things that I know today are very rarely things of the Spirit. Actually, I am more and more comfortable with the not knowing because rather than running away in fear of the unknown, I am more excited than ever to explore the better questions. That is the heart of my ‘What If’ journey. How can we ask questions from a deep desire to grow rather than a place of embarrassment and shame about our lack of knowledge? How can we open ourselves to conversations with people who see life and faith and education and family and sexuality and addiction and mental health and hate and hope and so many other things from a world that is unfamiliar to me? And with more questions, how can our own journey and questions introduce a deeper understanding of life?
Can I tell you a secret? I really think I would have loved being born into the Jewish faith. Every time I read about the deepest faith moments of the Jewish people, they come through questions. To be Jewish is to question. Even in the deepest rituals of their faith they not only welcome, but invite and expect (especially the children!) to question as a way of claiming and developing their own faith. ARE YOU KIDDING? I need more of this in my life. So, let’s go there. Let’s question. Let’s ask and talk and dream about the things that are stirring inside of us.
I would love to hear from you. I have a list of things that I want to explore, but I would love for you email me if you have a question that we should ponder together. I promise to honor your questions by looking in all directions for truth. That means that there is a good chance we will disagree. I love that. We need more grace filled conversations with people that don’t think the same. We are better when we bring all the thoughts and questions to the table. May these conversations bring new life in the next 50 days.