And I asked him a bit about the size of the community he’s in. “Twenty-five families,” he said. I asked how many youth they had, and at what age they usually joined the church. “We have about twenty youth,” he said. “And they usually join when they’re twelve or thirteen years old or so.” That’s a lot of pressure, there, to join at that age, I thought. That’s how they rope them in. I didn’t say that, though.
* * * * *
Maybe I understand why I explode into each home I’ve lived in. Part of me wants it all to look like we’ve been here a while, like we’re going to make lots of memories here. I want it to look and feel rooted. Because flying is tiring and sometimes you just want to sink into the good dirt and stay awhile.
* * * * *You’ve put too much stock in who’s following rather than where you’re bound. Your ancestors knew above all else you must have a center. The winter can be long. * * * * * I’ve come to love the doubters hard. God is getting bigger. No He doesn’t grow. He just bends and bleeds into every crook of matter and space and time, everything that IS. He is light, and my concept of being and love and grace is growing, and so God goes beyond the good kids all the way outside the universe, all the way outside the church, to those places that welcome greasy-headed, sore poets, the abrasive feminists, and the gay boys. * * * * * Yes, these joints hurt. But this heart and soul are still beating, still singing. I am grateful to be here, inhabiting this space for however long the Lord grants it.
And in between the groans and sighs, I’ve been listening. Paying attention. Reading. Learning.