It seems that every time, over the past few years, that I think I have found a place of stability, something has happened to take that stability and to make it feel like shifting sand. It’s been damaging to my faith, and in damaging my faith, I think that my children’s faith has been damaged as well.
Most recently, things were starting to look like we had reached a stable new place in our lives, and then the pandemic happened. Along with that, there were the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, and the election and all of its fallout this fall. The church’s response has been pathetic. I find myself discouraged, and I wonder if I will ever truly use the Master of Divinity degree that I have spent so much time working to obtain.
It was in a funk on a Friday night that I found myself looking through my journals, and I found this quote that resonated with my soul.
Your lifestyle, your freedom, your approach to faith and meaning are shaped by large-scale factors. Factors out of our control, which we assume to be stable and secure, but which in reality can change suddenly.–Mark Sayers, Disappearing Church
I never realize how quickly life will change until life does change. I never realize how deeply my feelings will be affected be life changes. I never realize how long it will take me to heal or how much I will need to lament before healing can come.
I’ve had this realization before. In 2010, near the end of the great recession, the company that I worked for went out of business. The week that I realized we were going out of business, I walked into church, and they were singing the old hymn “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.” I found myself tearing up as I sang,
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand
The sand may not be sinking in my life, but it definitely is shifting, and I am shifting along with it. Christ is a solid rock for me, but because he is a solid rock, I find that everything is shifting, including my feelings about other people, about church and about politics. It is a disconcerting and sometimes distressing place to be.