“But why in the world wouldn’t this behavior be a big deal?!! Why did a perfect stranger feel that it was totally fine to touch me as often as he liked? Why is it no big deal that he would assume I welcomed his commentary on my body and on women’s bodies in general? Why it it no big deal that these two friends essentially forced me to sit between them? Why is it no big deal that his desire to talk to me trumped my desire to not talk to him?”
“Come to think of it, the world is overflowing with powerful no-name Christians. We call them missionaries, Sunday school teachers, doctors, neighbors, parents, and friends. When I think of the people who have had the greatest impact on my life, I don’t think of the amazing conference speakers I’ve heard or the great authors I’ve read. Nope. I think of the family in Minneapolis who taught me how to open my door to strangers. I think of the couple in Boston who showed me that all of life is repentance and discipleship. I recall the gentle rebuke of a church planter’s wife who pointed to me to Christ and away from bitterness. I think of my aunt who lived well and died even better as she drew nearer and nearer to Christ. Each of these have made an indelible mark on my faith–yet to the world they will always be nameless. The nameless souls who teach other nameless souls to proclaim the name of Christ.”
“It’s hard to be a part of any community if your history is filled with failure and disappointment. If you haven’t seen healthy community modeled, it’s hard to hold out hope for something better than your toxic past. Even worse, if you have been the victim of abuse or misuse at a previous church, it’s hard to admit that past toxic experiences could turn you into a potentially destructive force in a different church as you detox from past hurts.”
Most of us who are ambitious young professionals move far from our families and so have little support or solid community. And maybe because we’re both so isolated and so “ambitious” in our parenting, we sabotage ourselves with impossible standards, live with a chronic fear of not measuring up in what’s supposed to be our most important calling. It’s almost as though, in the course of a few decades, we’ve all developed a cultural anxiety disorder around our children, and when I mull over this idea, I don’t feel anger or indignation over what’s happening, but an awful sort of sympathy.