I was on Facebook today, you know, perfecting the fine art of procrastination. I saw some friends posting the results of a silly quiz, “What denomination are you?” Because I fit in no religious box lately, I decided to take it too. The results didn’t actually surprise me, Quaker. I mean, I am a pacifist who prefers a quieter, more introspective service. Then again, I’m not entirely comfortable with that label either. I’m a misfit who’s not sure how to undenominate herself, or how to find a new way to express faith in community when you do.
Maybe it’s easier to walk away when you’re disgusted by the religion show, but I this isn’t how I feel. Despite all my deconstruction, I still have a deep, abiding faith. I still believe in the importance of living faith in community. In fact, of all the things I am unsure about, these are the two things I can express with some degree of certainty.
I have faith, or faith has me, or both mixed together.
I’m in search of a community to give and receive support, encouragement, dinner, conversation, disagreement, accountability, joy, laughter, pain, tears, life and death.
I also need a community that’s comfortable with questions, doubts and difference of opinion, is more focused on the Kingdom than heaven and hell and practices radical acceptance.
I find glimpses of it here and there, friends who I know are searching too. But we seem to be all spread out, across cities and even across countries. It’s a comfort to know they’re there, but it’s also difficult to deliver dinner when life is unkind.
Also, I don’t actually know any Quakers.
They don’t really make want-ads for this sort of thing: MWF recovering from trauma seeks spiritual community. Must have an open mind about vegetarianism, recovery, sexuality, politics and books – especially books. Liturgy preferred, kindness essential.
It doesn’t even fit on a t-shirt.
By the way, as a recovering codependent, I like to add to this sense of disconnect a layer of guilt for being too much, too difficult, too discontent, too picky and too unworthy to hope for this sort of community. Better for everyone if I just learn to get along with the moral majority instead of rocking the boat with my heretical opinions.
Ah, recovery: taking one day at a time, living one moment at a time, accepting that this is the pathway to peace…
So what will we do? We who wander and wonder, who cry when we meet a kindred spirit in unexpected places? How do we find each other without want-ads or t-shirts to identify us?
If I had easy answers, I wouldn’t need to blog.
I guess we watch, and listen. We extend as much grace as we hope to receive, and then a little extra just in case. I always end up needing more grace than I planned for, anyway. And just for good measure, feel free to reply to my want-ad. There’s always room in the “we don’t fit anywhere” pew for one more.