I don’t like Lauren Winner.
I guess that’s not really fair, since I’ve never met her and I am sure she is a nice person, but I mean I don’t like her in the sense that I didn’t like her book Girl Meets God. It may be surprising, then, that I am reading her newest book, Still, during this Lent. Or maybe it’s not so surprising, since Lent is all about admitting mistakes.
It took some convincing for me to start Still. Girl Meets God just struck me as so sure, so enthusiastic, so absolute. And sure, enthusiastic, and absolute are not words that I often use to describe my faith. In fact, I haven’t used words like that to describe my faith since I was, oh, about 13 years old.
And maybe I didn’t even way back then.
But Lauren sent me the book (she sent copies to a lot of people; I was on a list). And I thought that was nice of her. And I learned (after a friend convinced me to read it), that her new book is not so sure—it’s rather about failure and feeling the absence of God.
Now this, I can relate to.
Perhaps this book I can read, and maybe I can nod with recognition and underline for later rather than sniffling with frustration and failure (which, though dramatic, is something I did when I read Girl Meets God).
Since Still has an accompanying Lenten reflection guide, I’m following along there, too. Today’s question for consideration: How do loss, absence, and emptiness sometimes give us a fuller understanding of God?
So, I’ll get right to work answering that question, though please recall I’ve been trying to find an answer since way back when I was reading Girl Meets God…or maybe even since back when I was 13.
The truth is that I don’t know the answer to that question.
I only know that loss, absence, and emptiness are real.
And so, I’m fairly sure today, is God.
So for right now that will have to be enough.