Showcasing other Creatives

Come Matter Here by Hannah Brencher

I had the privilege of being part of Hannah Brencher’s book launch for Come Matter Here.

It’s for those in a season of transition and those in a season of waiting. It’s for questioning. It speaks on community and mental health and faith and being present. It’s an anchor and it’s wings. It’s beautiful.

And maybe it’s for you.

I’ve followed Hannah’s blog and social media for awhile, and she does not take lightly the responsibility of the platform she’s been given. She’s a consistent reminder to show up for people. To use our lives and our careers and our passion to value people rather than treat them as a commodity. She’s a dreamer and a hustler, but she manages to values people through that work.

If you’ve read Hannah’s blog or Monday morning emails or social media, Come Matter Here is just an overflow of that same heart.

I wanted to share one of my favorite passages of hope in the journey:

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If this book speaks to you, order it. If nothing else, follow Hannah’s blog and sign up for her Monday morning emails to give your Monday a little pep. You won’t regret getting to know this rockstar of a human being.

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Christianity

How to Retain Youth in Church

Questions aren’t the enemy.

The more I hear from those jaded and disillusioned by the church, those who love some idea of God but not the church’s, the more I feel the need to say that questions aren’t the enemy.

Can we just admit that we don’t know what we’re talking about?

We follow some biblical rules and we ignore others because they’re outdated or cultural or whatever reason we give. We skip over passages that don’t have an easy answer or don’t fit with our worldview. We add rules that the Bible never talks about. Can we admit that everything we do doesn’t make sense? And that’s okay. We could be wrong, we’re still figuring it out, and we can disagree on many things and still be brothers and sisters.

We can’t look down on those who question, because they supposedly have less faith or revelation or are further from God or drawn by sin and pleasures of this world.

Questioning the church – that’s not a sin. That’s not even necessarily temptation. That’s the first step to creating a personal faith that can’t be shaken when outside the church building.

I think of the many people who asked Jesus questions, who didn’t understand, and I’m pretty sure they made it to heaven just fine.

The church needs to be a place open to questions, to dialogue, not shying away from anyone who questions the norm. We don’t have to change our minds – though we might on some things – but I think we need to dialogue without judgement of the inquisitive.

 

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Mental Health

The Sanctity of Carpet Stains

My tears have stained the carpet.

I first noticed them right after, as I stepped on the dampness while on my way to a kleenex.

Now I step gingerly around them as I skirt through the hall, I scoop the popcorn kernels that shoot from the stove to be seasoned by the salty carpet, I kneel to that location and collect my tears there instead of a bottle. I can’t trample them; it’s too vulgar, it dishonors the sanctity of that moment, of what happened.

No one else can see the tears, but they haunt my hall in glaring reminder of the day I lost myself. Or found myself and lost my god. I’m still unsure.

It’s funny how when someone questions their entire belief system, the safest place to go with the questions isn’t the church or the christians or the religious. It’s the skeptics, the open-minded, the sinners. They can take the uncertainty and confusion, the very things that scare the church into answers, so many answers; of ignoring the big bad emotions, and acting from faith and trust, or being a false convert or backslidden or at best spiritually immature.

And I’m still bleeding where you cut me, but I’ve already forgiven you.

Did everyone see this coming?

The “I told you so”s scream so loud, and I just want to scream over them, “No, this is me, I’ve always been here, why couldn’t you see, please see…”

Why does authenticity sometimes mean being wrong? How does character sometimes mean lying?

I wonder how many times God will listen to the prayer “Don’t give up on me!” before He thinks this is ridiculous and that prayer can’t be my continuous failsafe for a life of doubt.

I like to think, to hope, that God draws closer in these moments than the moments of blind faith. I’m sure that’s the politically correct answer, but it’s all I can hold on to right now. That somehow those tears absorbed into the carpet can still be scooped into His bottle to one day have Him pull them out and reminisce about all the doubts and fears and how He was there through it all, orchestrating everything surrounding my fumbling faith.

And I’ve stopped bleeding, but I just can’t forgive you.

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