During the course of working in earnest on The Girl With the Grace Tattoo, I’ve struggled with whether I should even finish writing it, not because I don’t want to, but because lately my beliefs have changed some more and I sometimes wonder if I even know what I am talking about. But this past week or so as I have really thought about it, it has occurred to me that this is a book about the evolution of my faith and spirituality, and for my beliefs to evolve more during the writing of the book is not a bad thing. Having my beliefs evolve over time is a good and healthy thing, and there would probably be more wrong with this whole picture if my beliefs hadn’t been challenged and changed during this process.
After all, I tend to process things by reading and writing about them, which means that I rocked essays in college but didn’t do so well on exams. So in doing research for my book where I am doing a lot of reading and a lot of writing it’s natural that I would grow and change during the journey. Leaving fundamentalism was a life changing and life saving event. My world came crashing down around me as my beliefs crumbled, and I had to re-evaluate everything that I believe in. Rather than the conclusion of the journey, it was just the beginning. All good stories contain conflict, and seven months ago the biggest conflict and most horrible events of my life to date (and I’m not in a hurry for anything worse to happen) shattered everything.
Right now I’m not sure I even want to pursue a Christian publishing option if I choose to attempt getting the book traditionally published, mostly because I don’t want my book associated with all the Christian stuff out there because I don’t believe it’s a true representation of Christianity. American cultural Christianity is frustrating to me and has almost turned me completely away from Christianity more than once. It’s a topic that I write about in my book, along with the opposite idea of the kingdom of God and what that is supposed to look like and how Jesus really was a revolutionary who came change lives and bring about a new kingdom and a new way of doing things. It’s supposed to be to where going to heaven when we die is more of an added benefit rather than the point. If we see going to heaven as the point, then we’ve totally missed the point. Sadly a lot of modern Christianity seems to be about getting fire insurance (not going to hell) and then the rest of the time on earth is engaged in fighting culture wars. I honestly don’t think that is what Jesus had in mind.
These are some of the thoughts that I have been processing in the writing of this book, it seems that Christianity has become shallow when if it’s a life thing it needs to mean so much more than heaven. It needs to be transformative here on earth, in the here and now.