a reminder from Christian Wiman

“Congregations must be conscious of the persistent and ineradicable loneliness that makes a person seek communion, with other people and with God, in the first place.  It means that conservative churches that are infused with the bouncy brand of American optimism one finds in sales pitches are selling s**t.  It means that liberal churches that go months without mentioning the name of Jesus, much less the dying Christ, have no spiritual purpose or significance than a local union hall…  One thing it means for sure: we must be conscious of language as language, must call into question every word we use until we refine or remake a language that is fit for our particular religious doubts and despairs–and of course (and most of all!) our joys.”

This excerpt was taken from “My Bright Abyss” which I learned about from the good folks at mbird.com.  In it author/poet Christian Wiman grapples with faith, doubt, language, and suffering in the midst of being confronted with a rare/terminal cancer diagnosis.  Although some of his theological ruminations make the reformer in me wince, this work is a beautiful reflection on faith in the midst of the unthinkable.  Definitely worth your time.


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