The words you see before you are the sons and daughters of a life lived in the shadows of Conservative Churchianity. They are the Biblical bullets I have withstood, and the flickering flames that kept me company. Each are the product of my failed attempts to be faithful and the night I wished myself a fatality. These are misty-eyed moments on the corner of indifference and immortality that have brought me to my knees before the omnipotent stream of grace. These are the collected chips of my soul after spending a lifetime in the Chapel’s penalty box. This is my anger, and my expectant hope. It is my tried and true attempt to make gravel stones fertile.
But this isn’t an anonymous diary. This a siren call to the shoved out. A burnout list, if you will, for those who would rather ditch than get discarded. For those who don’t see themselves as they truly are; unique objects of Christ’s special affection. For the postponed tears of a child that’s just been told boys who like boys are destined for damnation. For the nursing home resident that sees promised visits broken. For the divorcee hearing her personal life probed in whispers amongst the pews. For the manic-depressive avoided like the plague. For the shamed and the mamed. For the addicted and the afflicted. The homeless and the loveless.
For the Registered Runaways.
It is a trend to slam the institution of Church today, and I realize that any attempt do so would just be another drum in the line. Let me be clear. That’s not what this is about. It’s not about the bullied becoming the bullies nor rebel retribution.
It’s about talking. It’s about challenging. It’s about cracking open a corridor for the exiled to sneak in. It’s about making more room at the table. It’s about the outsiders that care more about the golden rule than the rules of war.
This is a well of discovery.
A safe house for the stray.
The place where uncertainty is encouraged and convictions are called into question.
Here we call the altar Affirmation and the eucharist Empathy.
We are the pariahs carved in the palms of the Carpenter.
Desperately running towards something more.
Banner Image by Kevin Swedin