To my long-time love;
It has been a long time since I seriously considered calling it quits on our relationship. Even though I no longer depend on you, the Church, to tell me how to live, or to provide connection with other people of faith—I’ve stuck to the belief that somehow, we are better together than we are apart.
I am facing a choice because I don’t know if you are good for me anymore. The best way I can describe it is being ‘unequally yoked’. It reminds me of advice you gave when I was a teenager; warning me about my relationship with people who didn’t share the same faith or convictions.
Yes, I do think we are unequally yoked and it’s not me, it’s you. Monday to Saturday I have been listening to the edges of society where God’s Spirit is hovering. I feel myself being stretched and enlarged until Sunday, when I have to squeeze back into the shape and size you want me.
I never thought it would be possible, but maybe I’ve outgrown the shape you made for me. I’m bigger than you can handle, in so many ways.
Embracing the sacred and divine Feminine
I’m tired of broken promises and false hopes of shaping the future. I am a capable, intelligent, strategic and compassionate communicator and a visionary for the Church. Stop offering lip service to honouring and empowering women to lead and have a voice within your walls. You don’t need to tell us you believe in women, just let us lead not because of our womanhood but without regard for it.
We’ve known each other too long for you not to trust me now. When I say to want to contribute, don’t make me jump through hoops and knock on doors. If you don’t trust me, say it straight and let me move on. The power of my sex won’t change.
Embrace me, a reflection of the sacred Feminine in the real world—intelligent, gifted, passionate and willing. Embrace me or say no. Your ‘no’ won’t ruin me as much as chasing your ‘yes’ has.
Staking a claim for the significance of every human being
The political and sociological debates you engage with around LGBTQ issues let me know you’re thinking and talking about it.
I want you to start turning from conversation to action. How you respond to this group of people is going to define our future, the future of your relationship with me as well as ‘Them’, as you so often refer to my friends and fellow spiritual seekers. Straight people are leaving the Church because the tension you’re asking us to hold is untenable. We must live out our words.
But I think I know something you don’t. I’m The Generation. We’re all just in it together, one generation defined by being together and alive now.
Disrupt the conventions
I’m tired of hearing about the ‘Next Generation’. Did I slip straight from the ‘next generation’ where I was ‘full of potential’ to being past my use-by date in my thirties? You just don’t look at me the same anymore. I can’t seem to hold your interest.
But I think I know something you don’t. I’m The Generation. We’re all just in it together, one generation defined by being together and alive now. Young people aren’t any more likely to bring about hope than older people. We are all as close as each other to the grave, because life changes in a moment.
Disrupt the conventions and assumptions. I’m not suggesting you need to give up your hope for the cool kids, those twenty-somethings you’re so pleased to have held on to, but every denomination I’ve encountered is trying to engage with the ‘next’ generation while pacifying the baby-boomers who are still largely paying the bills.
Defining the relationship
When I try and talk this through, you say ‘you don’t want it to be over’ and that I need you, as much as you need me. I have to disagree. I carry Church in my pocket. My smartphone is all I need to read the Bible, download teaching, listen to worship tracks and even journal my prayers. I can tithe to Christ-centered causes and I can ‘fellowship’ in community via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and text messages. I can Skype and Facetime to pray with people I care about and sometimes, church happens around my kitchen table or fireplace. It happens Monday–Sunday.
I don’t know where we go from here. It’s not an ultimatum; it’s just a chance for us to be honest with each other. Maybe we’re both stuck, not knowing how to be what we need from each other. Where should we go from here?
Originally published for Christian Today.