Last Friday night Jason and I went to hear Pete Rollins and Rob Bell speak at the Neptune Theater here in Seattle. We managed to snag seats with a couple friends and it was, as Rob Bell podcast-listeners like to say, SO GOOD.
If you listen to Pete Rollins or Rob Bell with any regularity, it was familiar ground in many respects, but approached from some new angles and allowed me to sink further into some of the things that I’ve been pondering for several years now.
I’ve recently had the sensation of being on the other side. The other side of something I’m not quite sure how to name. Deconstructing? That sounds, to my ears, almost unbearably cliche but perhaps it is the most true.
Jason and I are still wrestling with the practicalities of how and where we will spend our time as a family on Sunday mornings, but our faith has, for many years now, been taking new forms and finding new expressions. And last week as I started to queue up some podcasts that a friend had recommended, I was surprised to find that while they had an impressive list of guests and looked to be discussing topics that are, as my mom would say, “right up my alley,” they were covering ground that I have already trod.
I have been sensing recently, as I’ve chatted with others who are slowly walking the path a few paces back, that I am at a new juncture. I have somehow, inexplicably, found my way into a clearing. The only way I can think to describe it is that I see in front of me a view that is wide. I see sky in every direction. I don’t have all the answers. I have less, in fact, than when I started. But I feel at ease. I was always so afraid of where the path would lead but if I had known it was so open, so lovely, so full of air, I might have made the journey sooner.
Pete Rollins closed his time last Friday by reciting this benediction, written by Padraig O Tuama. It felt, to me, a confirmation of this sense that I have finished a particular part of the journey. A confirmation and a sending out.
Padraig O Tuama
The task has ended. Go in pieces.
Our faith has been rear-ended, certainty amended,
and something might be mended that we didn’t know was torn.
And we are fire, bright, burning fire,
turning from the higher places from which we fell,
emptying ourselves into the hell in which we’ll find
our loving and beloved brother, mother, sister, father, friend.
And so friends, the task has ended.
Go in pieces
to see and feel your world.