Art that is vulnerable and real is where faith can catch fire
Faith is honesty. It is not pretty and it is not nice.
Sorry people, but some Christians just don’t get it. They are a little too clean and together. Even Jesus would be uncomfortable in a lot of churches.
Faith is real, and raw, and pain, and hard things. Faith is not shiny halos and being good. Sometimes faith is swearing and yelling and having a bad marriage and being pissed off and pulling out your hair.
It is love when love is illegal.
“Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.” Bruce Cockburn
Faith is real. It is a belief that you and I can stake our lives on. It is not happy believerism or toxic positivity. Things can get blown apart, but you have something to hang onto.
As I age, I can’t keep my stuff together. When I was young, I had more shoe polish and glue and I was able to look like I had everything together. But that’s all worn off. I swear more, I get impatient with things and I am more honest about my rough edges. After a while, the world gets to you and you get pissed off.
And I think that when you admit that you are pissed off and a little broken, you are closer to the heart of what is real.
Rawness is power. Not power directed at someone in violence, but in power that motivates. The world is a broken place and only broken people can make it better.
Faith is born of imagination and emotion, faith is imagination on fire. When we are gloomy and raw and angry, we are closer to who and what God is. The skin gets a little thinner and we are more real. Only in realness can we connect with something deeper.
Faith is a way to get inside the truth. Eugene Peterson
No, faith is not about preaching or telling someone how to live their life. It’s more about experience and heart. Faith is a fist in the shape of your soul. Your soul longs for something real: The realness that admits that I am probably more sinner than saint, and I am more in need of grace than ever.
I hope that you don’t listen to Christian music too much because it would warp your view of who God is. Maybe listen to the Stones or the Police or U2 and connect with what is real. Read the Psalms or something that gives vent to what is real inside of you.
They have this rawness and brutal honesty that sets the Psalms apart. I often think, “Why isn’t church music more like that?” Bono
If you resonate with this piece, you may like this video. It is an interview with Bono and he has a lot to say about faith and being real.
You may also enjoy my other writing on faith: Nadia Bolz Weber: The Minister to the Misfit Inside You and I and 7 Ways that Jesus Likes to Heal Nasty People.
If you connect with this, I hope to hear from you in the comments. At the Good Men Project, we are having the conversation that no one else is having about Spirit and Faith. Join The Good Men Project as a contributor. Your voice needs to be heard.
Previously published by smswaby at The Good Men Project