I have a typewriter, an old beige-gray Adler from the 1950s. This isn’t all that extraordinary anymore, I know a lot of writers and vintage lovers who have them. Although I don’t know how many use them.
I use mine. It was a gift from a dear friend to help me as I moved through prayer and therapy. I love a keyboard over hand journaling but I needed one without connectivity, somewhere to write where copy/paste to twitter simply wasn’t a choice. Somewhere I could write and pray and be without temptation to promote or share.
So in the mornings I do my prayers on my typewriter, or at least I’m starting to.
If you ever paint me as a disciplined, have it all together writer, pastor’s wife person: please refer to this post… or this one… for a little perspective. Then read the rest of this post and all false beliefs well be well and truly shattered.
But some mornings lately I do write and pray and talk to God via typewriter, earlier this week I found myself writing something that surprised me. It plunked slowly from my fingertips and as it took shape I knew it was a prayer worth holding onto.
“God, I feel like I’ve been living in skepticism when it comes to you. Doubting much and believing little. Help me survey this crumbled foundation of faith and start re-piecing my beliefs back together”
I’ve developed this bad habit over the past 10 years. I poke holes in spiritual things. If you read me a scripture, share a theological truth or play me a praise song I immediately look for ways it’s not true.
How it hasn’t applied to my life
Times in which God didn’t come through
Spots where it feels like BS
For I know the plans I have for you…
Really? You planned this for me?
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts..
This is what I suck at being a Christian…Got no peace.
I use the bible to tear myself down, to prove why I’ll never hack it as a Pastor’s wife, why I’m a total hypocrite and surely one of those lukewarm types on the fast track to being spit into the bowels of Hell. I’m nothing if not dramatic in my inner monologue
As if I’m living a life of “look what God hasn’t done for me! Look at how I’m failing as one of his children! Look and don’t be surprised, I’m not!”
And here’s where I find myself today: Totally sick of focusing on what I don’t believe, What the Christian community is doing wrong and how I’m not living up to the Bible’s standards.
With a process like this, it’s no wonder daily scripture time and prayer doesn’t appeal to me.
I’m not saying that we should swallow things without question or believe everything we are told.
What I am saying is that the human heart can’t survive endless doses of cynicism and critique in regards to their faith, it starts to feel like starvation.
If all you do is poke holes in things.. of course your faith isn’t going to hold water… clearly.
So I’m sick of poking holes in things, of looking for loopholes, of drifting on the edges of faith because I feel like I can’t trust God or myself.
When it comes down to it I’m attached to the Text by a thin cord these days and as someone who does what I do with a husband planting a church it leaves me open to spiritual attack and lots of it.
I’m the weakest link in our family, the easy in for the enemy, I feel it. It may sound churchy to talk about “the enemy” but that doesn’t make it any less true, does it?
I’m not tethered to much except the laundry list of holey things that don’t hold water and ways in which God didn’t show up.
The best practice I have is that of gratitude, but I want to build on that.
In this season of Lent, I want to begin the slow process of reattach, to take steps toward a renewed faith with a sure footing, a firmer grip on the rock that saves us.
I want to slowly reflect on and write down what I believe
To dig into the prayers of the saints of old
To order my day around something larger than myself for a while
I don’t need to make my own theology from scratch, there are thousands of sisters and brothers who have gone before me…
But I need to remember
I need to return to the old and God given practices and truths
The ones I’ve been poking holes in
It’s time to patch the holes with truth
The sort you wrestle with before clinging to them for dear life.
It’s time for a return, a T’shuva to the God ordained and faithful ways. I’m ready.