a phone call sparks many thoughts

I got a phone call from an old friend today. I thought the strange number on my cell might end in my second telemarker hang-up for the day, but I was surprised to hear Tim’s voice on the line. He was a good friend who I went to school and did ministry with in China, a really great guy who I used to envision myself marrying to create the perfect adventurous missionary couple. Ha, that was clearly not meant to be and woe is me if he reads this sometime, but I’m a lot more transparent than I used to be, and I realize, it doesn’t really matter if he knows that.

I guess it’s been about two years since we spoke, since I got all crazy, left my para-church college world and shocked most of my friends with my decision to get married. I chuckle about it now because I was so impulsive, or so it seemed on the outside. On the inside, I had been pondering my life, my ongoing committment to some sort of evangelical ministry, my faith at it’s core, for a while. My decisions just seemed shocking because I was too afraid to be a back-stepper, a doubter, a questioner, a church drop-out, to allow my thoughts to air among my closest friends. It’s all so silly now. What if I had been more consistently open, transparent, during that time? Would it have been easier? I don’t know. Maybe so, maybe not.

I couldn’t bear the typical response – the probing questions, seeing the look on people’s faces as they judged me for no longer being the righteous, right-on-track young Christian woman I was cracked up to be. I don’t know, perhaps I am too harsh on my old church companions. I know my close friends no longer see me this way, probably they never did, because they are amazing, but those on the fringe, I feel like I know how they are thinking, because that was me, categorizing people, judging by their in-ness or out-ness of a certain circle of faith.

Subject change, I am reading a really good book–a Generous Orthodoxy, by Brian McLaren, who’s a leader in the emergent church movement. There are several new links on my site because of my recent interest in this subject. I’ve definitely still got a lot of issues with Christiainity, but reading authors like McLaren, who boldly discuss the weaknesses of the church while still standing by the teachings of Jesus is good for me.

I’ve also got a lot of desire to write lately. I have all these scenes to write drifting around in my head. I’m not much for a narrative so far, but I’ll have details when I get there.

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3 Responses to a phone call sparks many thoughts

  1. allan says:

    Laura, I think every time I leave town you arrive. One day I will get to meet the infamous Laura. I’m glad that Joy Yees (the Rodent Restaurant) was yummy good. We were up in Madison this weekend and didn’t have such a positive experience on State St. Mmmmm…

    Well, I’m glad you too have discovered Brian McLaren. When I read what you wrote it reminded me about something my mate Paul said. Paul is leaving the Christian evangelical world for a while, as he really wants to find GOD, not the evangelical American God. He wants to really find God. I like that. I like desires like that.
    Right on.

    (p.s I think I know this Tim you speak of….mmm…interestingly funny.)

  2. Laura says:

    Allan, am I really “infamous?” What has Mary been telling you? Suspicious. I suppose it’s fair to say I have left the ev world. It’s been about a year now, and I feel like a more real, honest person, with more ideas and no more rhetoric spilling out of me. Not that I am opposing everything they teach, but I was totally committed to the evangelical cause, and I didn’t even give much thought to some of my doubts, not good. I’m on a new journey of discovery and understanding now, and I’m not quite sure where it leads me.

  3. mary says:

    hey l – awesome post. i got a message from tim this weekend asking for your phone #. glad you got to connect.

    i love that you are so transparent these days (or at the very least, more transparent than you used to be). it’s easier to get to know you. i love it.

    i also cracked up at you sharing about tim (and, a, i don’t think you’re thinking of the same tim … best not to get these two tims confused 🙂 can’t believe all that. still makes me chuckle …

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