For those of us who wrestle with doubts about our faith, and with what it means to be part of the Church, the landscape of Holy Week can be both beautiful and treacherous.
I was reminded of just how different our experiences can be after I came home from a day with the family to find in my Google Reader a lovely, celebratory post from Sarah Bessey, “In which God has restored me to church,” as well as an honest reminder from Kathy Escobar, “When Easter is Hard.”
I could relate to both.
I had my moments of faith: at the little Catholic church down the road on Good Friday, pressing my forehead into the wooden cross at the front of the sanctuary and silently praying, “God, I don’t understand this, but I believe, and I am thankful.”
I had my moments of doubt: in the evangelical church of my childhood on Easter morning, struggling to listen to the familiar resurrection story that suddenly strikes me as a rather inventive way to escape our fear of death.
I had my moments of connection: holding hands with my neighbors during the Lord’s prayer, sharing a meal with family, watching the lady in the wheelchair in the pew in front of me pull herself up, determined to stand through “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today,” seeing fellow Christians raise their hands in joy.
I had my moments of disconnect: sitting out the Eucharist because I’m not Catholic, hearing the gospel reduced to salvation from hell, welcomes that felt patronizing from people who have been praying that I come to my senses and go back to believing, behaving, and voting just like them.
It was a week of great joy, and a week of frustration.
Through it all, one line from Lauren Winner’s Still kept coming back to me:
"What you promise when you are confirmed...is not that you will believe this forever. What you promise when you are confirmed is that this is the story you will wrestle with forever."
This is the story I will wrestle with forever—of that I am certain.
Some weeks just involve more wrestling than others, I guess.
Tell me about your Holy Week....moments of faith, moments of doubt, moments of connection, moments of disconnect. Please feel free to share honestly. I’ll monitor the comment section to make sure that this stays a safe place.