I Want My Pieces Back
"Pieces Back" cartoon by nakepastor David Hayward
Funny how my cartoons manifest themselves on paper (yes I hand-draw them). Sometimes they are like a stream of consciousness. Or subconsciousness. After I drew this I realized I'd drawn a man who has pieces missing in his life... particularly his brain (his capacity to think), his heart (his capacity to feel), his right arm (his capacity to be empowered), his groin area (his capacity to be a fully sexual human being as he chooses), and his knees (his capacity to voluntarily serve). He'd like to reclaim possession of those. (You can get a print of it HERE if you want.)
SO... many of us have left the church. Or we are still in it but are unsure of our relationship.
I left the church. Sort of.
I left the professional ministry and the church as an official member in 2010.
I visit churches now occasionally.
What I encourage people to do when they experience the deconstruction of their beliefs and the cataclysmic morphing or even the loss of their faith, is that they not reject and bury their lives up to that point. It's important to figure out how to integrate our past... the good and the bad... into our lives. This is what is called "individuation"... where we become whole, embracing all that we have lived... all the darkness and light... into our selves.
Right now I'm slowly meditating my way through an awesome book by Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything
. Here's a couple of quotes from one of his essays I read just this morning:
"You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done... you are fierce with reality"
(Palmer quotes this from Florida Scott-Maxwell).
"Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life."
Have your beliefs changed or disappeared?
Is your faith dramatically different or gone?
Then I encourage you: Don't reject your journey to this point! This is an integral part of your unique process, your individual progress towards your own wholeness.