life and faith poetry

When you think it’s all sorted, then it isn’t

When faith spans a few decades, then what we used to think often doesn’t match what we think now.

It’s more like a kaleidoscope with shifting patterns, where gritty grains of truth remain the same, sticking solidly to the sides.

But nothing seems as safe, familiar or comfortable as it used to be.

Our inner landscape widens, our theology telescoping to view concepts we’d rejected before.

Mixed as it may appear to be,  it becomes a composite whole when seen through a lens of grace.

Faith evolves, grows, stretches like elastic when tugged this way and that by circumstances. Click To Tweet

Faith isn’t meant to be stagnant or stuck in a time-warp. There will be changes that alter us like passing years leave folds on our faces.

We’re people on pilgrimage, kicking up dust while wandering in the wilderness, endlessly seeking our heart’s true home.

How to describe living with the challenge of a continually renewing perspective, an out-of-sorts faith?

out of sorts 2

Especially a faith like mine: started in tambourine-shaking Sally Army quarters, birthed in Charismatic corners, anchored in Anglicanism,  blended by Baptists, steeped in Evangelicalism, stirred by Word of Faith speakers, charmed by Contemplatives, rooted in the Rule and made-over by mystics and Monasticism.

I thought, prayed and wrote, pretty much as I do for every blog post.

And what came out was as concise as I could get it, my long faith journey stripped to bare poetic bones.

I used to think.. but now I think…

I used to think…that church was a place you were at because you’d finally got your act together.

You were sorted and saved with a ticket in your hand for beyond the grave.

It was where you decided and declared by a 4-step-sign-here process your eternal devotion to your Saviour Jesus.

And gave no room for aberration from the thinking of your chosen denomination, because some would frown and look askance if you gave some credence to how others danced and clapped and said, “Hallelujah!” instead of reverence, silence, know-your-place or we’ll have to eschew you.

I used to think mystics were way beyond my ken, and once in their thrall you wouldn’t return to the fold of your old sheep pen.

Little did I understand the real power of a praying friend or the way a Benedictine monk’s Rule would lead me closer to Home again.

out of sorts 3

Now.. I think church is a hospital for the hurting, for those still in waiting, the shop-soiled and the hard-boiled, those who’re past their sell-by date, all who come early or arrive breathlessly late.

It’s where in every pew sits a broken heart and on the inside we’re all falling apart, but tears can be cried and grace can be given as we share with an openness birthed from heaven.

I think there’s room for all as we gaze in holy awe at the babe in the stable, and a warm welcome awaits everyone at the table.

You can pray in tongues or sit in silence, decide to contemplate, meditate, approach the throne of grace with longing to be fed and find all God’s children receive manna-bread.

I think church is a disparate body of believers where emphasis rests most on being good receivers. Click To Tweet

Because it’s Love that invades our hearts and souls, permeates the everyday with a Light that blinds as it captures us whole, illumines our minds, transforms our thinking over time, reveals we are nought without its impartation and is continually renewing our wayward inclinations.

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I began with a deep longing to know Jesus, and that’s where all my messy meandering is still taking me.

It’s always been about Jesus – the Alpha and Omega of our deepest searching for meaning, truth and love.

My inner vision remains rooted in closer communion and relationship with God. Click To Tweet

I thirst to know Him better; I hunger for all that draws me toward that goal.

And I conclude below with an excerpt from Sarah Bessey’s  closing blessing for all honest seekers.

out of sorts blessing

 

out of sorts book cover 1

 

The image quotes above are from Sarah Bessey’s hotly anticipated, newly released book, ‘Out of Sorts:Making Peace with an Evolving Faith’

Reading it has stirred and impacted me greatly, inspired this post and a review to come.

You can find out more about her work at Sarah’s beautiful blog site.

22 Comments

  1. Bethany McIlrath 4th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th November 2015
  2. June 4th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th November 2015
  3. Trudy 4th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 4th November 2015
  4. James Prescott 5th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 5th November 2015
  5. Lisa Bartelt 6th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 6th November 2015
  6. Carrie 7th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 7th November 2015
  7. Carrie 7th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 7th November 2015
  8. Ceil 9th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 9th November 2015
  9. Mary Geisen 9th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 9th November 2015
  10. Sarah Bessey 26th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 26th November 2015
  11. Katherine Fischer 27th November 2015
    • Joy Lenton 27th November 2015

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