Good morning, friends. This week, we’re going to continue some of the threads we’ve been sitting with the past couple of weeks. When we have done some of our own deconstruction, sorting through what fits and doesn’t, naming and processing and letting go, we often find that some of the spaces we have been a part of are no longer places we can be. Even if that is just for a season, while we work through all that is coming apart in and around us, it can feel extremely disorienting when we have to move out of a place that has been important to us—particularly when that is a spiritual community of some kind. But there is often a moment in our faith journey when, like Abraham or the people of Israel, we are invited out of what we have known and into the wilderness to be with God. This may be a family environment, or even a job that simply does not make space for a you-in-process. But a particularly difficult one is church. We look at our faith communities from within our process, and find that it is just not safe space for our journey right now. Far too many of us have had to leave places that were meant for good, but instead brought harm to us in some way. More and more of us are telling this story: that the very place meant for the life of God to be lived out in community is instead blocking that, and we can no longer pretend to ourselves that it’s okay. Church, of course, like any community of humans, will by necessity be a messy thing. People *will* hurt each other; the community will *not* always live the life it's meant to live. But when it’s more than that—when there are structures of control and systems of power in place that don’t leave room for us to be fully human, or to follow God’s lead, even when that is to somewhere unexpected—there are times we need to step away. To walk out (with so many others in the history of God’s people) into the wilderness. When have you had to take those first shaky steps out into the wilderness with God? Are you there now?

Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-01-23 15:56:46 UTC