When I first started asking questions about my faith, I was terrified. In my loneliness and fear, I tried desperately to drag the people I loved most along with me on my journey through doubt. I was in a season of deconstruction, of uprooting, of tearing down. And like a spoiled child, I ran about the Church, knocking down every theological block tower I could find, delighting in the destruction.
I was asking good questions, worthy questions—about creation, science, biblical interpretation, gender, religious pluralism, heaven and hell— but I was angry with those not asking these questions along with me; I wanted to force them into my season.
But there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build.
Since then, I have come to see that the attentive soul cycles through these seasons. Wintery seasons of deconstruction, uprooting, questioning, and tearing down are often followed by exciting, spring-like seasons of reconstruction, creativity, healing, and building.
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to search and a time to give up.
And it’s easy, when I’m in a season of building, to look down my nose at my brothers and sisters who are in a season of tearing down.
And it’s easy, when I’m in a season of throwing away, to look down my nose at my brothers and sisters who are in a season of keeping.
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
Some of us are in seasons of speaking, and some of us are in seasons of silence. Some of us are in seasons of mending, and some of us are in seasons of ripping apart. Some of us are in seasons of mourning, and some of us are in seasons of dancing. Some of us are in seasons of searching, and some of us are in seasons of giving up.
Let’s not forget that we need one another.
We need wildfires for new life to grow. We need scraps for our quilts and jackhammers for our remodels.
We need the sounds of laughter and the sounds of crying. We need baptisms and funerals, confirmations and AA meetings.
We need both the systems and the reforms. We need the theses, the hammer, the nail. And we need the door.
Let’s not forget that we need one another, if only to acknowledge that within every season a new season awaits, swelling and splitting like a seed in the soil, about to break through.