People close to me have chosen to reject the church, or simply take a good long break from organized religion. I can understand why they have arrived at this place, but my husband and I do not choose to join them. The church is still something too precious, too vital, too much a part of who I am and what I believe. I still believe that the Church is Christ's beautiful, amazing plan: His body on earth, and the only option he has given us. And I find the community of believers to be cleansing, soul-refreshing, and life-giving; necessary, even, to my spiritual and physical health.
In addition to people, gratitude quickly comes to mind as one of the reasons that I find it so necessary to believe in God; daily, almost constant, reminders of all of the beauty, all of the grace, all of the amazing good in the world, despite the ugly and evil, and believing that there must be a Great, Gracious Someone for me to thank.
I am so excited to begin to write about this! In thinking about who I will write about, and what to say about each person, my only drawback has been not wanting to embarrass anyone. Because I realize that the people who have had the greatest impact on my spiritual formation are usually unaware of having made any impact at all. I know they aren't looking for accolades or to be elevated to sainthood. They weren't "trying"to teach me anything, didn't spend time with me for the purpose of allowing their Spirituality to rub off on me in some way. Really, these are all just normal people, friends and family, who follow Christ and along the way allowed me into their lives, to become so close that I could observe their actions and reactions, the things that motivate them and what they love, their wounds and failures and what they choose to do with them . . . from them I learned grace and wisdom and a clearer picture of the Christ we follow.
Looking forward to writing about some of my favorite people this week . . . I'd love to hear about yours!