If you follow this space, you’ll note that most of my brilliant revelations come after I meet with my spiritual director. A spiritual director is someone who companions with you in your life with God.
I meet with my spiritual director for an hour once each month. I usually spew my tangled emotions and somehow she manages to find a theme or important question in the midst of my ramblings. That helps me make sense of my life.
Lately, for the last several years, my confusion has been around not feeling like I fit in my “evangelical” Christian culture, yet not fitting anywhere else either. This leaves me feeling rather untethered and lost. God is still real and near, but where do I fit in community with others?
Last month when we met, she used the analogy of a cog of the “wheel and cog” variety and I realized, I just don’t cog very well anymore. I don’t fit the prescribed evangelical Christian culture; I love gay people, and I can’t understand how ANYONE could vote for Donald Trump. With some of my dear friends, this makes me a rather uncomfortable person to be around.
Some friends have unfriended me, some have unfollowed me. Some hold me tenderly, at a distance. Others are watching to see what crazy thing I’ll do next. I am confident that they all still love me. We just don’t speak the same language anymore.
This month, that wizard who is my spiritual director used a term she had heard from Brother Don Bisson, a Jungian-Christian spiritual director. The term is, “doubly- marginalized.”
It comes from the idea that when a person works with those on the margins, they fit neither with the people they are working with nor with their former community. I find this to be exactly true for me. I love my rainbow family, yet, as a cis female, I am not one of them. And working with my beloved rainbow family has changed me. I am a different person now, which makes me not “cog” well with many in my former Christian community. God is bigger to me now and has blown out all of the tidy boxes I used to keep him in.
So, where does that leave me? I’m still a Christ follower, that is true. And there are others who don’t cog well that I’ve found to cluster with. And there is my rainbow family, who love me unconditionally. So, I’ve decided it’s time to put the blinders back on and keep my eyes on Jesus – to go where he leads me, to love those he has called me to love and to try and ignore those loud, very loud, voices telling me I’m wrong, crazy or apostate.
This is me, a not cogging well, doubly marginalized, Christ follower. Care to join me? Do you ever feel that you don’t cog well? I’d love to hear your story.