Weekly-ish Letter :: No. 3
An Exciting New Series, Forbidden Books, and Some Gentle Words to Guide You Into January
Dethroning the Bible & What Happened Next
Starting in January, I’ll be writing a series here on Substack entitled, “Forbidden Books: Pages That Broadened My Perspective, Birthed Curiosity, & Lured Me Down Beautiful Paths.”
It’s been in the back of my mind to do this for awhile now and I finally feel like it’s the right time. Over the last few years, friends and family have asked me a similar question in regards to realizing I’m no longer the Jesus-loving, Bible-reading, church-going, ordained pastor, and charismatic missionary girl they once knew.
“How did you get here? What changed for you?” they all wonder.
And I wonder the same. I never know how to respond to their questions on the spot. It’s not easy for me trace the path of my becoming in such a linear fashion. The zig-zags, switch backs, and wandering wilderness stints can’t be charted very cleanly on a map.
But one of the threads I’d like to follow for the next few months is how sliding the Bible to the side, dethroning it from its Supreme hold on truth, rapidly opened me up to unfamiliar territory.
Once forbidden books became my new companions into the Unknown.
Whole worlds flew open, no passport needed. People I once called others became entire universes. The Earth started talking with emotion, telling me of her needs and hopes. My own soul contained millions of beautiful landscapes waiting to be traversed.
All this because I started opening myself up to the pages of books with an eagerness to explore stories and perspectives I’d never dared to enter.
Before I start in on the new Forbidden Books series, I wrote a bit of an introduction on my blog titled, One of the Most Life-Changing Decisions I Made. I hope you will find a moment to read and respond. I always love hearing from you!
Traveling with you,
Words To Guide You Gently Into January
I first heard about Oliver Burkeman through listening to The Tim Ferris Show (ep. 555). This episode is just 20 minutes, a reading of Tim’s favorite chapter, “Cosmic Insignificance Therapy" from Burkeman’s book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. I highly recommend finding a moment to listen in before you try to harness your most ambitious dreams and plans for 2022. Tim urges us to use it as a sort of meditation…such a good idea!
“What you do with your life doesn’t matter all that much, and when it comes to how you’re using your finite time the universe absolutely could not care less.”
Then, I found this post from Burkeman which I found entirely freeing, “What if you never sort your life out?”
“It turns out my really big problem was thinking I might one day get rid of all my problems when the truth is that there’s no escaping the mucky, malodorous compost-heap of this reality. Which is OK, actually. Compost is the stuff that helps things grow.”
Speaking of compost, Jeff Chu discusses his Theology of Compost and his friendship with Rachel Held Evans with Krista Tippett in this recent podcast interview. I discovered Jeff Chu a few years ago and his story cracked me open to the heartbreaking realities and stories of our LGBTQ+ friends and the incredibly damaging message they’ve been given from so many in Christian culture.
Desmond Tutu passed away last week and I shed unexpected tears talking about it with my husband over coffee at our kitchen table. My husband was born and raised in South Africa and we lived there together for 4 years, so South Africa holds a special place in my heart. Truly, there are so many inspiring people on this planet it is sad to see them go, Desmond Tutu is someone we can all seek to emulate:
“In Africa recognition of our interdependence is called ubuntu. It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours.”