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  • Writer's pictureLance

Sweet Outsider

So if you cannot find me, look to the western sky - dancing in the pale moonlight or marveling at the light of a clear blue morning.

In the few years that I’ve been back at a church & in the years that I’ve been working for myself having conversations about authenticity with folx outside the Christian faith, I’ve come to realize an element that is so important for me.

Is my faith about moving closer to control or leaning into discomfort?

I’ve found that individuals who speak of a faith not grounded in what specific actions they do or do not take, or what identities they do or do not hold, but rather stemmed from what that faith has allowed them to do in the face of hardships, are the ones I can connect with on a deeper level.

These are the folx that have in some way experienced some sort of change that no longer allows them view the world the same.

They no longer play by rules that someone else put forth.

What I’ve learned to be true in my life is that the things the promises the idea of control makes - promises like comfort, certainty, and even peace - aren’t always made with the best of intentions.

They can easily lead to performance. To spouting the answers that you know are right vs leaning in to speak the truth of what you are actually experiencing.

This thinking leads to binaries, false equivalencies, and ultimatums that harm us in body, spirit and mind. Add a layer of urgency with a forward focused outlook and you’ve got yourself a pressure cooker.

One that leads to panic, grievance and ultimately more harm.

That is why I’ve been working to claim what my faith actually looks like: seeing the Divine in others, seeing Her in myself, reducing and healing harm, and embodying all the above.

Today that looked like getting up and going to church where our pastoral intern Angela preached and shared her personal mantra: you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

It also looked like breathing, it looked like singing, and it looked like crying.

It looked like grabbing a taco with a friend, dreaming with a group of people ready to organize, and buying a wig on sale.

It looked like holding space to discuss mental health, taking my medicine, and taking a nap.

So if you cannot find me, look to the western sky - dancing in the pale moonlight or marveling at the light of a clear blue morning.

No longer grounded by the clinging vines of control, but rather propelled forward and upward by a belief that pulls me along and keeps me away from the edge of the bridge.

Even if I’m solo - know the invitation always stands, sweet fellow outsider, to lean into the wonder of the unknown & defy the gravity of a society weighted against us.

If my experience is any indication, you’ll surprise yourself when you start to fly. And the more you do it, the less and less they will be able to do to bring you down.

And the people sang:

“We will not, We will not, We will not be controlled.

I am sovereign in my body, I am sovereign in my soul.”

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