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The contrast of castle and empty room: Sleeper, Awake

My faith used to be like a castle full of sparkling treasure, a place I found beautiful and precious. Now it's the empty space of a one-room shack. I still feel the loss of those shiny, tangible things. They took a long time to assemble, and tending them gave me purpose and distraction. But I've realized the things of God should not have to be protected by moats and ramparts, and my collection of glittering artifacts came at the cost of others.

The emptiness of the shack isn't always hollow. Sometimes it is filled with expectancy and hope. And it rests near a body of water. Sometimes it's a waterfall, sometimes the ocean. Mostly it's a still pond, where frogs cheep at night, and birds dip to feast on smaller flying things. I sit on the doorstep with the emptiness surrounding me, facing the fullness of water and life. A part, but not a part. Apart but not apart. Empty and full, both.

I don't know what will come next. Maybe the water will disappear and the room and I will grapple with the emptiness in a more profound way. Maybe I'll move outside and in at will rather than perching in the in-between. Or maybe some new cavernous presence will welcome me, and I'll need to find a way to be comfortably uncomfortable there.

Deconstructing is hard, and I'm drawn to writing about hard things. Over the past year I captured a wide variety of thoughts about the process of unlearning and compiled them into a book. But that thing was too unwieldy and contained too much of too many things, so I decided to split it into a series. The first recently launched, and is titled Sleeper, Awake. It's designed to offer companionship for those who experience fear and anxiety as they face questions about Christianity, church, and God. The second is tentatively called Awake, and Rise. It's focus is a bit more practical. I think there will be a third, though I don't yet know what it will include. I am content with the discontent of not knowing. For now, that's my goal.

I hope you'll find the comfort and encouragement in Sleeper, Awake which I experienced in writing it. Give it a read, and let me know what you think.


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