We talked about idols last week at Redemption Church. It felt like a hard sermon to give, because I think the idolatry of the church over the past few centuries has caused a lot of pain. So many people have fallen in love with a small “g” god, that promised them the world and couldn’t deliver. The realization that we are certain of very little in the life, and that even when we get the very things we think will satisfy us, they don’t satisfy us after all is a painful one. I think nobody is better at talking about pain than Barbara Brown Taylor.
“Not to accept suffering as a normal, inevitable part of being alive seems like a big mistake, and finding ways to cover it up seems like choosing anesthesia. There is a sense in which if i will trust that what comes to me is for me (now that’s the hugest faith statement I can make to you), if I will trust that what comes to me in my life is for me and not against me… what I find is that it breaks my idols, that it breaks my isolation, that it challenges my sense of independence, it does all kinds of things for me that I would not willingly do, that are for me, that are for my health.”
I am so thankful for Barbara Brown Taylor, her faithfulness, and her courage to write and say things that are true. Over the past few years, she has made her way onto the short list of people in my life who speak deeply to me about what it means to be a pastor, and a person.