To know me well, is to know my love for rich tradition.
I am forever wanting to participate in traditions -to be bonded with people through these ancient rituals. If there isn't a tradition, I will work to create one. I do embrace change, but I yearn for traditions that will live through change after change - after change.
So, it is no surprise that my absolute favorite author is a former Jew, who fell in love with Jesus after years of being deeply devoted to Judaism. To me, her Jewish past permeates most of what she writes - I love learning about these traditions, I am hungry for her words - but more than the beauty of ancient traditions she knows there is freedom in Jesus. Her words help me find balance in yearning for the steadiness of tradition - but knowing Jesus is steady enough on His own.
I just began reading her most recent book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis.
She finds herself in the "middle" of her faith - past her conversion - past the place of being ravenous for Jesus - she talks of a place many of us know. Maybe you call it a "rut". It's hard to believe I could be in a "rut" living in Haiti - but I think, here I am...at a wall.
Lauren Winner writes this about the glory road that led her to Jesus
"... I thought that road would carry me forever. I didn't anticipate that, some years in, it would carry me to a blank wall, and at that wall a a series of questions: do I just stand here staring at this wall? Do I go over? Under? Do I turn around and retrace my steps?"
I hoped, that in the days after reading these words I would find answers about the wall - find something meaningful to say about Jesus carrying me over the wall - which I know, He inevitably will. But, just knowing I am at a wall doesn't mean I know anything about the wall.
Later, Winner writes about advice given from one of her friends, who said this:
"one of God's gift to some of us is just not to be immediate, so that we have to undergo the kind of discipline necessary to have what others seem to have effortlessly." Winner follows this advice by writing "This is something of a comfort."
A comfort it is. Staring up at this wall, wondering what to do about it. Do I even go over it at all? Do I possibly stop at this wall...? Asking these questions, I know God is there. He is working. I am waiting - trying to listening - but sometimes plugging my ears with useless nonsense. I am looking, but often blinding myself with "I wants".
No divine answers have reigned from heaven - but this I know - He is working on my stubborn, selfish heart and He loves me still.
I don't know what to do about this wall - but He does.