When you feel out of step with your religious community...


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

Yesterday was one of those days. 

Images of lines snaking out of fast food restaurants, taunts and jeers on Facebook, tearful conversations with gay friends, failed attempts to understand and explain both sides

Is this what following Jesus is supposed to be about? Eating a chicken sandwich to prove a point? 

Is this what mobilizes the people of God? 

Suddenly, my religion is alien to me—small, petty, reactive.  My faith has lost its bearings. I don’t feel like praying anymore, not even for the mom who begged me to pray for her gay son who vowed yesterday never to return to church again. 

Can I blame him?  Perhaps it is better if he stays away.

I am hanging by the tips of sweaty fingers on this ledge of faith, wondering if letting go will bring freedom or death. I’ve hung on before—through the science wars, the gender wars, the Christmas wars, the culture wars—but I’m just so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling out of place. 

The familiar words wash over me fresh: 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

From The Message: 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

And I hold on...at least for another day. 

See also: Some words for Christians on both sides of the Chick-fil-A war

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