Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Snow on Roses

Most of you bloggers have some sort of site meter; so do I. It tells me some basic things about how many folks are visiting my blog, how long they stay, and if they clicked here from another blog. Early this morning, I was checking my stats, and a new "referring URL" appeared. It turned out that another blogger had appreciated the poem I posted here and posted it.

I visited her blog.

And I was completely drawn in. Hie thee hence! Snow on Roses is a moving, powerful, passionate voice in the blogosphere. How the heck did I not know about this blog until today? I think I'm in blog-o-love.

As I read and read page after page in her blog, I was blown away by Tandaina's post, We're Starving Out Here, and I flagged it so I could write about it tonight. Just listen to this snippet!

There are a few things my office and co-workers tend to avoid: politics and religion. They dance around both with one another, curious but not quite brave enough to risk either subject head on. But sometimes hunger overcomes those unwritten rules.

I leaned against her office wall, a newbie hovering nervously in the doorway behind me. And from them both came hunger, great crashing waves of it, fearful rolling breakers of it, tentative pleading streams of it. At first we danced gently, she sidled up to religion and poked at it ever so tentatively.

I felt the fabric of my soul stretching, yearning. How could I see that hunger and not respond? How could I hear the longing in a voice and not offer meat and drink? Feed my sheep. There was frustration and confusion, yearning and need. So much damage done by snake oil preachers, bible thumping evangelists, hell fire and brimstone. The smoke so thick they were choking on it. And yet still they yearned for the clear sweet air.

I began speaking, tentative and careful. She sat up in her chair, leaning into the words. She didn't know even the most basic terms of theology, history, these young hungry seekers have no context. "I want..." She wanted to understand, she wanted answers, she wanted to know.

She said – so much more articulately than I – something of what I have been sensing. And about which I was thinking when I wrote the Godwin's Law entry last night. She addressed what I sense – that I am surrounded by people who need to hear the message I hear each Sunday and which informs my daily life and which keeps me putting one foot in front of the other. But she did it so much better than I ever have. And she spoke to me about the urge toward a sort of "evangelism" that I am feeling recently, as I encounter so very, very many people who have been turned off by "religion" but hunger for spirituality and a connection with the Holy.

Now … it gets strange. I flagged her essay this morning and added it to my "blog fodder" file, with every intention of coming home tonight after work and posting about it. But by the time I got home and ready to blog, she had read my Godwin's Law post and drawn it out even further. Go there; read her "Overcoming the Static"! I can't give you a soundbyte that will do justice to her essay. But I believe she's right: Many people yearn for a spiritual life – for a connection to the Holy – but have grown to hate (or fear) the church because we have let the neo-con right-wing political "Christians" claim to speak for The Church. It's so bad that I don't tell people I'm a "Christian"; I say I'm an Episcopalian, hoping they won't associate me with the "God Hates Fags" fundamentalist wack-jobs who have stolen the "Christian" label.

The Episcopal Church has an honest-to-God Gospel to share. And people are starving to hear it. As Auntie Mame famously said, "Life's a banquet, and most poor SOBs are starving to death."

Reading Tandaina at Snow on Roses was the best thing I did all day. I'll be adding her to my daily reading.

8 Comments:

Blogger Tandaina said...

Wow, Lisa thank you for your kind words. I've been enjoying the honesty of your writing so much. I am honored and doing a great deal of blushing.

I hope between the two of us we can keep this discussion going I really feel it is important for not only the future of our church but for the people who need God so badly.

10/24/2007 7:19 PM  
Blogger RevDrKate said...

Wandered over from Tandaina's blog...will surely be back. Good stuff here!

10/24/2007 9:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

My dears, I am the honored one.

Tandaina, I would like to keep this discussion going. I have ebbs and flows of energy these days. But I'll try to keep up. Perhaps our dialogue can rescue me from my ennui.

RevDrKate, thanks for dropping in. I'm blessed that I found Snow on Roses.

10/24/2007 10:50 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Your thoughts are right in line with the latest surveys by Barna.

10/25/2007 1:39 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks, Ann. I mentioned the Barna study in my Godwin's Law post, but I didn't have the URL for their study. I've gone back and added that link.

You are the best, Ann!

10/25/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Lisa, it was good for me to read yours and Tandaina's post. I'm pretty shy about sharing my faith, however, folks around here are mostly church-goers and mostly Roman Catholic. The field is not fertile for evangelization.

But it's good for me to keep in mind that I may be missing opportunities.

10/27/2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger daisyaday said...

Well, I made the connection to here through a very roundabout way, from Learning to Live Free to The Episcopal Majority to your comments...the blogosphere is a wonderful thing, yes?

I can relate to your comments on wanting to share, but not wanting to be put in the same camp as the crazy Fred Phelps crew, or the ultra-conservative Religious Right.

I'm tickled pink to have found your blog. I spent some time reading, but I'll have to save some for later. It's time to start my annual Thanksgiving cooking marathon!

A happy one (Thanksgiving) to you all.

11/20/2007 10:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I thoroughly agree. The blogosphere is a delightful web of connections. Glad you dropped in here. God knows, I'm not nearly the energetic blogger that Tandaina is. But I do what I can.

As to your substantive remark: In my leisure times, and on casual Fridays at work, I typically wear one of my many shirts with the TEC shield or my parish logo. Many folks know I'm gay. I keep hoping that one of them will ask me -- as I asked some friends back in the early '90s -- "How the heck can you be gay and a Christian?" I keep hoping it will eventually give me a chance to talk with them about Christianity outside the neanderthal mindset.

11/20/2007 10:43 PM  

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