"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day

5.28.2006

Otherness.

I was slated to do the communion meditation again at CCfB this week, but had nothing in mind to say. I've been mulling it over since last Sunday when JTB told me it was my turn. Then on Thursday night, I was at the Bible study I often attend, and it hit me. And this is what I ended up with for today. We were talking about whether or not the church (both capitol and lower case) should be involved in politics. My answer…“Of course” and a long tirade about the way the church has been made to look in the public eye, and the underlying reasons the current administration has for picking the issues they have picked. In the process of my weekly tirade, I made a statement that led to a realization on my part.

I have lived most of my life in a state of intentional otherness. I, since I was a child, have chosen to identify myself with a myriad of things that make me different, to such an extent that I fully belong to nothing. When I was very young, it was my logical mind. I was never silly or petty or girly in any way, and refused to be a party to such foolishness. And then I was too angsty, punk-rock Bohemian to conform to the standards of anyone. And in college, I was too angry, girl-rock, politico, revolutionary, Bohemian to not remain an other. I had all my other statements lined up…separating myself by my ideals, my politics, my momentary Vegetarianism. The fact that I’m not a traditional Southerner, that I’m liberated, that I’ve been to a union ceremony. That I’ve seen The Last Temptation of Christ and wasn’t appalled. That I am controversial, a mystery wrapped in an enigma, all tied up in a quandary. That it’s me against the world.

While me against the world is good for songs, poems and manifestos, it’s not really so fun. It’s pretty overwhelming. When you live as an other, there’s no one to trust with your problems. There’s no one to take care of you when you’re sick, or to worry about things with you. Or to help you do whatever it is that you might need help doing. It leads to anxiety and anger, lots of yelling and arguing, sometimes for arguing’s sake. Just to be heard.

I have been aware of my state for while, but lacked the power to change it. Due to the state of my family, I essentially raised myself. I have had few very times in my life when I felt like I actually had someone to take care of me when I needed them. In college, with my friends there (who once tricked the dorm counter clerk into giving them a key to my room, because I wasn't answering the phone and they were worried). And now, with my church, CCfB. What I have experienced there over the past few weeks has been amazing. And I don’t know what to say other than that. I have felt that I am fully a part of something. I am so, so grateful to be a part of this body. It has been such a blessing to be a part of such a family.

Since Nathan has not been able to be here the past few weeks, he asks about church when I speak to him on the phone, generally on Tuesdays. I’ve told him that I feel like there’s something happening here. Something truly remarkable. For whatever reason, I feel like this is what a church is supposed to be, in it’s purest, simplest form. Like that talked about in one of my favorite scriptures, Micah 6:8.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

2 comments:

JTB said...

I think you're right. Something remarkable is happening--intangible but very, very present. And whether you know it or not, you're on the giving as well as the receiving end of it.

And--if it were possible to respect you more than I already do--you have totally earned yet even more respect for using "metrosexual" to describe Joe's toes. :)

Kaley said...

I am so glad that you have found a home, Casey.

Kaley