Dear Ruth:

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I see myself as a person who has been blessed with deep, varied and very interesting relationships. I am not a good “let’s talk everyday” kind of friend. I am like “your favorite old sweater that you occasionally forget about, but then when you find me in the back of your closet, you can’t wait to put me on and I feel just the same as I always did” kind of friend.

Today, I had the opportunity to post on an “old” friend’s blog. Ruth has walked an amazing path in her young life. She is truly a remarkable person. She is right now discovering new nuances of her faith walk, and apparently has some loving friends “concerned” or at least encouraging her to “be careful” about what she’s finding.

I know people who would say I am careless with my faith. They are probably right. I don’t “do” faith easily … it’s always a question, always a challenge. I’ve often wished for the easy faith some of the people I love have. But for whatever reason (of those I will not discuss here), that’s not my path.

I’d like to share my response to Ruth here. Since I wrote it, and it’s a public comment, I hope she isn’t offended that I re-post it here:

I’ll respond, friend! I echo the thought of “everything belongs,” with “everything is spiritual.” Again, not in the new-age kind of way that sends Christians scurrying, afraid that living in the questions will somehow damage their faith. I, like you, see God in so many situations and I LOVE being in nature, where the very rocks cry out of his creation. 
I also appreciate the spiritualness of touch, Ruth. It’s an interesting thing. I’ve read about how older people miss the feeling of physical touch. It’s why I hug my dad a lot (my mom passes away six years ago), and why, when I’m getting his attention, I’ll touch his arm. I look at his aged, bony frame and wonder if he longs for someone to simply touch him. I try, but it’s a little awkward sometime. A hug and kiss on the cheek is good, though.
I think … I think as we get older and learn more things, we have a choice to make. We can either petrify in those things we have been taught, waiting for the great “whatever” comes next in our lives. Or we can continually gain wisdom, and see God in more places, in more situations, in more people. We can limit ourselves and our understanding to what makes us comfortable, or we can explore the questions that our God is big enough to answer in His own time. We can doubt, because we do not serve a God that had laid out a three-point alliterated sermon for us to follow, but like the famed lion of CS Lewis, beckons us “Further up and further in!” running alongside us all the way.
I love reading your blog! You, dear sister, are a blessing in the midst of your struggle and question. And I pray that the God of all comfort will continually hold you close, and allow the people and things of this earth to be used by God to encourage you, love you, and reveal his nature and plan to you.
Peace!

My world hasn’t been black and white for a long, long time. When I have the opportunity to encourage someone along their way … I try. Today, I think I helped Ruth. And I am glad.

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