The Spirit Speaks


Deconstructing your faith is a hard process.

It's like a massive spring cleaning where you're pulling things out from under the bed and in the closet. And you know you need to get to the attic but you're already exhausted from all the dust and debris you've encountered to even think about heading up there.

Things that you felt sure are now uncertain. You strip everything down to the very basics. And by very basics I mean basic. Like Jesus is love and that's all you're sure of anymore. Everything else feels like the block towers my nieces and nephew used to make when they were toddlers; unsteady and likely to topple over at any moment.

At this point if I had to distill what my deconstruction looks like I would say it's got two major building blocks that I feel confident and ready to put cement around to lock them into place. I've already mentioned Jesus is love, so what the second? The Holy Spirit is a powerful force who actively works and speaks through my life.

Simple right?

Its crazy. You would think the concept of the Holy Spirit would have been the first thing that I dropped during this whole process and the very last thing I would ever pick up again. I grew up in what Sarah Bessey calls the "happy clappy" type of churches. Worship services were long, our hands were in the air and speaking in tongues was an occurrence I was used to by the age of 5. Surely all of that would have been the first thing that made me uncomfortable in my journey; the thing I was most anxious to deconstruct and leave behind. But the opposite was true.

The Holy Spirit has never felt more important to me than this very moment. I wake up unsettled ad yet settled and I know that's the Holy Spirit. The burning I feel in my heart is the spirit I know. Sometimes I hear myself talking about the direction the American Church is going. I hear myself talk about the white Evangelical's refusal to self examine our lust for power and our refusal to deal with racism as more than just a sin issue but as systemic oppression and I feel that I'm not just speaking on my own. I'm speaking through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says the spirit speaks to us through "groanings that can't be understood" and yes I believe that can mean speaking in other tongues. But more and more I believe that it also means when we aren't ready to hear something the Spirit speaks that thing. When we don't know what to say in our own language the Spirit speaks. So many times I feel so passionately about something and I think "if I try to say this out loud it's not going to make any sense." Only to then say exactly what I wanted to say in a way I never expected to say it. 

The Spirit speaks.

I truly believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to the White Evangelical American Church. I think the Holy Spirit has turned the lights on in the room so we can see the dust in the corners and the dirt on the windows. It's time for a spring cleaning. What has kept me from throwing it away? The voice of the Spirit. I sit in my room and I weep. I pray. But I don't feel despair. I feel hope. The Spirit is speaking. The Spirit is speaking in me and through me. And that's something my church taught me. My church that drives me so crazy and can make me so angry. They taught me the thing that will truly save me. They taught me about the thing that keeps me going. 

The Spirit is speaking.

And I'm not going to give up until you all hear it too.