I cannot adequately articulate why I have felt such profound sadness over the death of Rachel Held Evans. I’ve never met her. I’ve never heard her speak. I haven’t been to one of her conferences. I haven’t even read any of her books in their entirety and I’m not active on twitter. And yet.
Yet I’ve laid awake long into the night every night since Saturday and I cannot seem to stop the wheels of my brain from turning the news of her passing over and over and over. Is it because she was so young? Or because it all feels so meaningless and random and how could the doctors not have been able to save her and how can a person just up and die like that when she was so completely fine?
Is it because I heard her on a podcast once? Or because I can’t stop thinking about her husband and kids? Or is it because, in my early twenties I wondered what on earth my faith would look like or how it could even exist if it no longer looked like white evangelicalism and I didn’t know if there was anyone else out there, and then she came along a few years later when I was settling in, younger than me, but speaking words and making waves in ways that made sense to me and made me feel less alone?
I don’t know. I only know that a friend of mine shared these words of hers today, from Searching for Sunday, and they brought me to my knees.
“ … even on the days when I suspect all this talk of Jesus and resurrection and life everlasting is a bunch of bunk designed to coddle us through an essentially meaningless existence, I should still like to be buried with my feet facing the rising sun. Just in case.”
Yes. Yes, me too.
Go well, Rachel.