Thursday, December 14, 2006

Progress, finally.

I quit my job. While that probably doesn't sound like progress, trust me, it is. For the last 16 months I worked in a commercial kitchen at our university. It was both a burden and an education. It was a great place to enter from the exit of my ministerial bubble. I have to admit a bit of shame as I considered many of the efforts I helped initiate for the purpose of "reaching people." I can't picture any of my co-workers doing anything but rolling their eyes if I were to invite them to something I thought might enable them to "hear the Gospel." The time in this prison of a job has led me to re-think, re-imagine and re-direct much of what I believe about the Gospel. Its been highly liberating. I resist the urge to explain to you, the reader, that yes I still believe in it. I hope my words will be self-evident, which leads me to my point. One of the first days on the job, I was working alongside a woman who I later labeled as Angry White Woman. In our conversation that day, she asked why I was working in a kitchen and not as a minister. I told her I was in transition in life and that I was asking myself different questions than before. Her reply: "What the fuck does that mean?" Part of me felt the need to try and explain and defend myself, but again I resisted. I tried to reiterate that I am going through a time where I am examining my faith. "It's all a bunch of bullshit, you know that, don't you?" It's probably clear now why I called her the Angry White Woman. It didn't take long to find out that her anger stems from the Church. She has a sister with whom she used to be very close. The sister got "saved" and now they hardly speak. Her sister thinks she is going to hell. That's her primary view of what faith has to offer. It makes you judgemental. I tried in vain to build a bridge to her, but I was lumped into the same category as her sister and there was not much I could do about it. It made me sad. One way to look at this story is that Angry White Woman had her chance and rejected God. But I want to address why the sister changed. Jesus did say the Gospel will divide, but I have to think its for reasons other than that it makes you act like an asshole.


knnuki said...

I'm glad you've finally gotten to quit your job alongside Angry White Woman (AWW)! This sounds like progress all right - anxious to hear the next steps/progress, eager to hear what God does.

yourplanispuny said...

Sometimes I feel like Angry White Woman. Interesting how 10 minutes ago I was walking outside (through the seminary where I just earned an MA) and thinking about how vain most ministry seems to me nowadays and how I could care less about being on the various band wagons of what we call "ministry" and "mission." Your last line resonated with me; how division caused by the Gospel should not be due to Christian assholes. I imagine that Christians who read your post will probably just be glad that you don't have to work with that woman anymore. Its a shame really. I actually relate best to Angry White Woman and almost totally agree with her, at least to the extent of how the Way of Christ has been bastardized beyond all recognition. I quietly walked away from Christianity last year. I like to think that Jesus led me away from it. Now I just want to walk with him along with others who want to do the same and are willing to explore what is real and what is (to quote my new friend, Angry White Woman) "bullshit." I also like to think that I am on this journey with humility and a deep sense of commitment, though many will just label me "postmodern" and brush me aside. That's okay.