In Search of Better Stories

Christians More or Less

The fires burn bright.
Everything new, Everything exciting
Possibilities, dreams, passion
Together we buy a house.
Together we make babies.
Together we move across the country.
We brim with confidence, good news and the truth!

Together we tackle the impossible.
If God is for us, who can stand against us?
Full of faith, full of hope, full of love.
Together we trust
Together we build
Together we sacrifice
Against the odds hand in hand
Saving the world.
Thrilling.

Storms come
Dreams crumble
Adversaries present themselves
Pain pierces deep
What was smooth, shiny, and strong
Becomes pitted, cracked and worn

Second-guessing, bitterness, doubt
Innocence obliterated
Once we were fresh new recruits, headed for the front.
Armed with enthusiasm, idealism, and truth.
All was black and white.
Now we are grizzled veterans searching for truth amidst bombed-out trenches of grey, grey grey.
We emerge with a harder edge.
Skepticism, cynicism and distrust welcome us in.
We resist.
Believe, believe, believe.
But how? how? How?

We hold on a little tighter to each other.
And yet, there is more space between us.
She has her career
I have mine.
We check-in
We make time
We go on dates but instead of romantic sparks, big dreams, or passionate prayers.
She learns about the homeless I try to help and all the shenanigans that go along with my job.
I learn about vaccine studies and her wonderful boss.
We talk about the shows we’ve been watching, a book I’ve read, and always the kids.
The days tick by
We get older, or bodies more frequently revolt against good health.
We are happy, more or less.
Reasonably contented
Reasonably contented is miles and miles away from the early days of roaring passion.
Is this a problem?

We are in regular life now.

Gone are the early passions
Big dreams finished.
Clear ideals dissipate with the morning mist.
Big faith is washed away.

What have we become?
We are Christians, more or less.
God though mysterious, often distant and largely unknown, will always be welcome.
We are story people. The story of redeeming love has touched us deeply.
We can never escape it.

Neither can we escape the harsh barbs of life — brutal, messy and foul.
Evil abounds clothed in religion, politics, pride and the neighbour next door.
It’s buried inexpugnable in our own hearts.

As much as I would like to think it, no simple answers suffice.
We are wary of those who ‘know the way.’
Spiritual confidence is overrated.
Dogma a disaster.
Inflexibility breaks more than it supports.
And yet the story around which so much has been built still manages to guide
It is enough.
We are Christians, more or less.

The story sings gratitude into the human heart. We are compelled to hum along.

We are warm and cozy in our home. A sense of belonging and welcome fills us when we see our tiffany lights shining out the window, greeting us on the street when we arrive home wet and tired from long but good bicycle rides together. Grateful.

From work, I can hardly wait to get home.
We eat well, good food every night.
Around the table, we express our gratitude to the giver of all good gifts.
Unhurried, we share stories of the day’s great adventures.
Wonderful laughter rings through our home.

Games, adventures, memories, belonging, jokes and hugs
We enjoy our world, we enjoy our family, and we are thankful.

Sorrow will come, it always does, and when it does, we will do the best we can.
We have made a life together.
It’s a good one.
At the end of the day, we crawl into bed, our bodies weary.
Sudoko for her a history book for me.
Back touching back, our eyes get heavy.
We drift off
Contented, happy, together.
Christians, more or less.

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