SHELTER



I used to think of church, as much as it intertwined with religion, as a safe place for my soul.

A refuge.

A sanctuary.

A safe place to shelter from the storms of the outside world.

I sometimes imagined it as a structure of sorts in the midst of a storm to seek protection under. Increasingly, the storms that I was seeking shelter from came from church itself. The very thing I depended on to give me strength was beating me down, relentlessly at times, to the point that I no longer saw it as a cover.

I won't go so far as to say I no longer had refuge. My desire to research and to study, and my faith in God has provided what I need and, with the lack of much of anything else to cling to, has only grown stronger.

The more I've sought out God, and the more understanding and answers I gain, the more I find myself pulling away from religion. The peace I find in this is difficult to explain, but more difficult still to deny.

I'm not giving up on church, but what I want from church has become clear.

I want a radical church. I want a community I can belong to, surrounded by others who desire to do what is good and what is right. I want a place that embraces and upholds the very ideals Christ himself embodied.

I believe Christ was a revolutionary and I want a church that is just that.

I don't want doctrine and rules so much as I want to join a pursuit for what is just and true.

I don't know where I'll find it. Maybe one day I'll find it in a Mormon congregation. My hope for that isn't what it was once, but I still hold a space for it.

Much of why I stay is because I believe change can happen, and if I can lend my voice to that cause from the inside, I undoubtedly will. I believe in the value of offering different a perspective to what is generally accepted as the norm, and while my voice in doing that has been quieter the past few months, it's not to say I've given up on it.

I feel I'm at a standstill, yet at the same time, I feel a shift in the direction I'm going, with more clarity and purpose. I don't know where or when I will find what I'm looking for, and I'm okay with that.

Each day that brings me closer to where I'm trying to get is another day that I strive to emulate the radical, revolutionary love I'm trying to find.

I've let go of the idea of a shelter. As exposed and vulnerable as it might be, I seek refuge in my faith. I find sanctuary in my hope.

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