A Queer Ecclesiology

An argument for a queer faith:


Religion at the Margins

These have been some stories about remaining faithful. Recently, a few of us here, along with some others, started writing about issues related to being faithful on at the margins of religion. This also includes writing about and for those that are on the margins of society.

"Religion at the Margins is a space dedicated to the exploration of marginalized perspectives in religion, politics, and culture. “At the margins” might refer to a class or group of people, or a heterodox theological perspective, or to those who find themselves on the margins of a faith that was once central to their lives."

Check it out: http://religionatthemargins.com/

On Coming Home by Andrew Ford

When I left the church in which I was raised, I sat down with my old pastor and told him why I was leaving. I did not lay out my laundry list of comeuppances, but simply said that we were headed in two totally different directions. He was kind enough to share from his own life how he he left the Church in which he grew up because he felt stifled, only to eventually return after College. But, before we prayed and committed each other to prayer, he said something that surprised and angered me, "Don't be shocked if you end up back home."

I was a Junior in High School at the time. A few months before the conversation, I had a calling-to-the-ministry experience. Several in the Church (including the Pastor) were exceptionally supportive of this, believing that it was an authentic call from God. The people who had known me since the age of four, were present at my baptism and who had supported me for my entire life believed I was called to the ministry! The Pastor even began to talk excitedly with me about Seminaries and Bible Colleges.

A few weeks later, I had another experience. This time it was befuddling and rapturous, as I experienced what the Mystics call "ecstasy." This all happened when I was alone but things like this simply did not happen in the tradition in which I was raised; therefore, I didn't have a context or an understanding of it. So, I talked about it with those who had been so supportive of me. Needless to say, their reaction immediately cooled. Over the period of the next few months, some even passive-aggressively helped me to find the the door and make good use of it. I eventually did.

"Don't be shocked if you end up back home," he had the gall to say to me! I immediately hated it, as those words began to follow me like the lengthy shadows of evening, haunting my every step with lies of manufactured peace and illusions of safety. Was I the Prodigal, who after experimenting with the wiles of Christian Spirituality and Mysticism, supposed to return "home" a few years later with his tail between his legs? "Kill the fatted calf", the Pastor would proclaim triumphantly on my return (though whispering in my ear the entire time, "I told you so")!

What is home, anyway? If I am not careful, I think of home as a place, just as the Pastor meant it. Home is that balcony-ed Sanctuary, those familiar hymns in 6/8 time or the thin, gilt-edged pages practically dripping with yellow highlighter marks. Or that home is a Potluck lunch in a cavernous fellowship hall, Bible Studies throughout the week and Summer VBS with games in the parking lot. He seemed so sure at our little meeting that I would be back to this home. As much as I get passing nostalgia for all these things, I can never return to this home, for geographical and spiritual reasons.

But home is much more than just a place. If I'm not careful, those comfortable, safe ideas about the Divine become home. Those doctrinal ghettos born out of this generation, where I can lift up my Bible and say "This is my Bible, I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have." Home, if I'm not careful, is a place of exclusion of the spiritual-haves and the spiritual-have-nots. Home is a place of great fear of the outsider and the-outsider-within-ourselves. As well-intentioned as it is, Home can be a place of comfortable ignorance and spiritual complacency.

As much as I yearn for such a faith as I once had, for straightforward, self-evident belief that was good enough for Paul and Silas, I know that I cannot return to that Home of belief, either. It is not just because I know bigger words now or a broader concept of history. No, I cannot return to this home, because I have lived enough to know that that this kind of faith is of little use to you when you're in the sty, eating pig's pods. I cannot return to this home, because if I've learned anything in these eight years since that conversation with the Pastor, it is that Our Lord is a Mystery who is meant to be followed, not an idea for whom to build a house. He is outside my comfortable home of easy beliefs, calling me out into the streets. I must follow Him.

I am homeless with my Lord, as you are, too (even if you don't realize it!). I am trying to set my heart on the Pilgrim's way, replete with vain attempts to forsake all things, all ideas and all others for God. I try to follow the God who calls me in spite of myself. I am looking for the City of God that already riseth fair on the horizon. I am trying not to coerce the Divine work in my life into something I can understand. I am trying to busy my hands for those in the streets – who know they have no homes to call their own – working to show that in breaking of the Kingdom of God into our own day and age.

When the wandering days of this doubtful wayfarer are finally over, I hope to come to that true home. As Isaac Watts put it in one of my favorite hymns, "There would I find a settled rest, While others go and come; No more a stranger, nor a guest, But like a child at home." Much like a carefree child, I will run to that banquet, looking like a bride adorned for her husband. I will smile and sing all the old songs on my way. Hell, I might even skip.

When I pull my chair at that table, Providence probably will have me sitting next to that Pastor who doubted the work of God in my life. We'll both look at each other, equally shocked at the proximity to each other's presence there. I did end up back home, but not to the home of his or my making. We ended up at that home that was prepared for us from before time. And, perhaps, we will remember the things we did and said. We will remember them and then, we will share a good and hearty laugh. We will laugh for a long time.

And, I am still a Christian because of that laugh of the world-to-come, the laugh of the world without end. I have faith in that laugh.

Andrew Ford is A Red State Mystic.

The Crew Has Killed the Captain by Anthony Dale Hunt

My initial response to the question, “Why are you still a Christian?” is a mild confusion as to the word “still.” The implication of that word could be interpreted to mean there are obvious complications – intellectual, moral, etc...- with being a Christian that I would need to overlook or deal with to 'still' be a Christian. I've yet to encounter such difficulties. Don't get me wrong, I deeply struggle with all the things that most people struggle with: The 'texts of terror,' the 'problem of theodicy,' the monstrous things Christians have done and still do; I often have long stretches of angry, fearful doubt; I often echo Job, begging 'God' to just leave me the hell alone - “Who am I that you are mindful of me?” But alternative options have yet to convince me that I must, as if I ever could, pass on from the faith that I have had since I was born.

Which leads me to my primary answer to the question, I just don't know. I have been genuinely attempting this lately, to answer the question, as if it formed the foundational justification for my remaining a Christian. But I've found myself profoundly opaque to myself. I am unable to find the proper exterior position from which adequately to grasp hold of my interior subjectivity and find the reason(s). Is it because I honestly feel I have found all the answers to my questions about Christianity? No. Is it because I have compared Catholic Christian theology with the explanatory accounts of the world offered by all other competing ideaologies? Obviously not. Is it because I so deeply love God? Well, maybe...but...what do I love when I love him, my God? This I cannot answer.

I'm still a Christian because studying theology has made God exciting. The world has become irreducibly complex and yet more reasoned. I've become aware of how much I don't know and yet I know more than I ever have known before. Every book I pick up, every passage of Scripture I fight with, has become, at least for now, a genuinely rewarding experience.

On a rather obvious level, but one often ignored (probably because it doesn't lend itself to “proper” justification for faith), I'm a Christian because my parents raised me to be one. I never really had a choice as to whether or not I would be one, I simply was one. I am deeply grateful for this and I'm grateful for my parents who have always encouraged me to appropriate my faith and not simply live forever off theirs.

But I'm also a Christian because of a grace-filled act of stubborn will. As I came to transform into a post-evangelical, as I sat weeping in parks wondering whether or not I was even a Christian anymore, as I saw my deeply held beliefs be refined, altered and even shattered; where many of my friends simply passed over into an indifferent if scarred agnosticism, I kept going to church, I kept 'leading worship,' I kept doing all the things I had been doing before – even admitting sometimes to God that I wasn't even sure if he existed. That might be a strange sentiment for the guy who was up front playing Delirious tunes on his acoustic guitar, but it was the defiant act of continued involvement in the work of God that helped me remain aware of God, even in my ever deepening estrangement from God.

Which gives me at least one more potential answer to the question. I'm still a Christian because I'm a wounded lover. The God of my youth, the God who I loved in rapturous innocence has abandoned me but I still hear his call. David Bazan puts it this way, “The crew has killed the captain, but they still can hear his voice.” The pull of desire unfulfilled drags me along and periodic respite from restless pursuit gives me just enough strength to move on and enough satisfaction to make it worth it.

But ultimately, maybe these are things I tell myself to maintain internal coherence. I can't say honestly why, but I most certainly am, if also an incomplete one.

Anthony Hunt blogs at Theophiliacs.

You With No Money by Zena Neds-Fox

I’m not a very good consumer. If I had more money I might be better at it, but as it is, I buy what I need and spend very little on stuff. There is much I can’t afford. To buy expensive items I must weigh the pros and cons of debt management. It’s not an equation I have to consider very much because it doesn’t cross my mind that often, this going out and buying more.

Come and buy. You without money. Come and eat, you who have no bread. There are things that have no price that belong to God. Peace. Love. Reconciliation. Justice. Eternity. Life. As far as I’ve seen there is no way to purchase these items. No wholesale warehouse lines shelves with anything you don’t have to return to and buy again. We don’t have the resources to lay hold of the commodities God deals in. Besides that, they’re free. On his terms, in his heaven. They are free.

I prefer free. Yesterday I was at the market and wandering amidst the new fall flowers and the discounted herbs of summer. The owner walked past and asked, “Hey, do you want a free plant?” Well yes. Yes I do. He led me to flats of big, beautiful mums that needed water and little else. “Take one.” It sits on my front steps. Its deep red welcoming friends, welcoming autumn, given to me.

Given. There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to death. The religious time clock with its row of time cards has little to do with time at all. Only God can teach me to number my days with wisdom. I am told every morning and some days I hear it. This is the day. Ann Voskamp says time is a fast moving river leading into the ocean of time that is God. The one way she has found to slow it is to get wet. To step in and let the full weight of your body allow you to be present in the moment, living the life you have been given.

I remain a believer for two reasons. The free. I didn’t do anything to be given this. These friends who love past my defenses. These babies born and handed over to those with no training, no experience. The understanding that there are not just 80 years of life that we live. It was given, with more besides, to someone who has no ability to pay for priceless things.

The other reason I stay is the time. Its rushing towards God becomes audible the older I get. What should be done? Stockpile what will not last? Feast on the best of what is gone in three days time? In God’s community I’ve been forced to lift my life from the moment. With hands unseen God has taken the iron of my will and made malleable what I never would have consented to change. I am better for it and He receives attention for his efforts. I’ve learned these things walking with Him. Why would I stop now?

Zena Neds-Fox blogs at My Life is Good

On Commitment by Audacious Deviant

Why do I stay?

This is a question I ask myself every day and have done for many years. It’s part of the daily doubts I have about the very existence of God, let alone the need for a Church, especially one that treats many of her people with such contempt. But though I may have doubts, many of them, repeatedly, I still regard myself as a Christian. I cannot bring myself to claim a perfect faith, nor even a perfect hope – I struggle every day.

[Ruth & Naomi 12th c.]

I have always been moved by the stories of constancy and commitment in scriptures. The story of Ruth and Naomi comes to mind as a more appealing one. Past or present struggles for Ruth don’t lead her to put aside responsibilities. I’m a great believer in commitment. As a young man, my parish priest, a very kind and sympathetic man, told me that the problem with being gay was the lack of commitment. Really, he had a point, though of course he didn’t really understand that gay people have been denied the ability to properly make commitments and that it has had a devastating effect on gay people throughout history. Combine that with testosterone and it has been a recipe for the very kind of disaster that my generation saw full force in the 80s.

When I was a very young man as part of my Anglican preparation for Confirmation it was required of me, as with everyone else who knelt before the bishop, to affirm that I would “Worship God every Sunday in His Church and to work, pray and give for the spread of His Kingdom”. That was a promise, and I have kept it and strive to continue to do so until my life’s end.

I’m not the sort of man who thinks he has all the answers and in fact I am certain that I have none of the answers. I have only questions. I will leave the answers to others more brilliant and faithful than I. But what I can do is follow an amazing man, a carpenter from an obscure village in the backwaters of the Roman Empire. He lived a life of such compassion that I hold Him as the supreme example of commitment – something I’m still working on. His kind of commitment lead him to the cross where He offered up a life of such decency, such integrity – well, who am I to use a cheat sheet, or to cut the class? Maybe when I get to that level of commitment I’ll have real faith. In the meantime, I’m just sticking around.


Audacious Deviant is an artist and a gay Christian working towards audacity.

First Love by The Joyous Chortler

Why do I remain? When this question was posted to me, it took me aback for a moment. When one endures, survives, ekes out an existence on the fringes for so long, the question of “why” often becomes moot. Why do soldiers survive in the mayhem of battle? Why do parents survive impossible situations, fueled on only by the thought of their children? Why do those struggling with terminal illness manage to hold on for double, triple, or quadruple their truncated lifespan?

The answer, put simply, is that they must. There is some intangible and ephemeral Promethean spark within their breast that defies all logic. In situations like those listed above, “why” is the wrong question to ask. Instead, one should ask “how” they choose to survive.

When faced with situations that overwhelm and devastate our human emotions, we switch on the autopilot of instinct. Instinct will help one to survive—survive, but not thrive. Instinct, albeit necessary at times, will carry one only so far.

In my own life, instinct—that raw, slashing need to live no matter the cost—helped to keep me a Christian for a time when all logic said I should have abandoned it. But in order to get to this point, some background must be filled in first.

Raised in a religious home—a Pharisee among Pharisees—the world was simple. Dichotomized. Lobotomized. All questions were easily answered as “righteous” or “profane” before the subject was changed and dinner was finished without further interruption. In my family, questions were not encouraged, so questions were not asked. Any doubt of a religious nature had to be “prayed through” and, if it lingered too long, your very faith was in question. You did not trust God enough to supply the answers (or you wanted your own wicked agenda so badly that you ignored what the Bible plainly said about it). If that situation seems slightly frightening, it is tame compared to the churches we attended.

One church in particular, High Praises—the very name brings bile to my mouth due to the mocking irony of such a name—was totalitarian at best. The “pastor” (who had absolutely NO theological training and was, in fact, a failed musician who used to play honky-tonk in bars until receiving his “calling”) was held up to be the “be all, end all” and ultimate guru for our lives. His word, coming directly from his coffee dates with the Lord Almighty, was without fault; anyone questioning him was questioning God.

Around the time that I started attending this church with my mother, I was at a crossroads in my life. I had recently outed myself as gay to all of my friends in high school and felt contented in who I was. In a perfect world, the story would end with the protagonist embracing his identity and his church, in turn, embracing him, demonstrating the love that Christ, in essence, is. However, this was not the case.

Remember, careful reader, that I had mentioned the type of home environment that I was reared in. Homosexuality was never discussed in my household. Due to this, and the fact that I never read my Bible, I believed that who I identified myself to be was fine by God. God had, in fact, made me and I was reared to believe that God didn’t make mistakes. Unfortunately, human beings do.

A series of events happened, leading me to believe that God hated me, and, consulting my Bible (which I was taught to read literally), I found it to be true. Thus began a five year journey to try and change my sexual identity out of fear of eternal damnation, egged on by some of the voices in my church. My “pastor” (and I put this in quotes because I believe he is an outrage to such an esteemed title as shepherd), knowing of my struggles, publicly and vehemently condemned gays from his pulpit on at least three occasions, saying to the congregation that the gays “needed to get over themselves and hear God’s truth” as a way of excusing his hate speech. On another occasion during an altar call, he refused to pray for me unless I was “serious about changing,” since he had seen me come up several times that month and was thus far discouraged with the results.

Frustrated at his own inability to exorcise the demon of homosexuality from my spiritual body, he began to take out his anger on me in silent ways. For example, he denied me the right to sing on the praise team because he didn’t believe that someone who “struggled with the kind of things [I] struggled with should be in a position of spiritual leadership”. All of these events, while horrible, were forced under the rug, since I was trying to obey the man that I thought God had put in leadership over me. However, one final event broke that thin veneer.

When I decided to leave the church for reasons other than the aforementioned items, my mother and I both received phone calls. My mom got a call from the “pastor” complaining about our disloyalty, blaming me for problems in the youth, and telling her how many people had left the church because he “supported” me. He asked that I give back a car that the church had traded me for, saying I was unworthy of such a gift, since I wouldn’t put it to proper use. My mother, taking this all in stride, told this so-called “pastor” that he needed to speak with me personally since I was an adult at the age of 18. He hung up the phone, and I waited anxiously for his call.

A few hours later, his wife calls me, and she proceeds to tell me that I am demon possessed, that I have spread “seeds of discord” among the youth, that I spread rumors about the “pastor,” and was to blame for the large number of people that were deciding to leave at that time. Then, while I was stunned and in tears, she had the gall to pray for me, and then, in essence, curse me by saying that I would never find a church that accepted me (and not because I struggled with being gay, oddly enough, although the implied meaning was clear).

After that, I went into survival mode. My church had been my world. The “pastor” and his wife had been my means of relating to God. My congregation was my family. And, in an instant, it was all ripped away from me. I was a spiritual infant, torn between two sides; he was Solomon, sharpening his sword to cut me in two, convinced of his own wisdom.

For the next few years, I was the Canaanite woman, begging for the scraps of my Master’s table, jumping from one church to the next, forever hounded by the “pastor’s” wife’s curse. Finally, I stopped running. I gave up on religion entirely. By this time, I had been “ex-gay” for five years and was beginning to have a mental breakdown. My body and my emotions told me that I was attracted to men. My mind told me that I should be attracted to women. I was pulled so hard by opposite factions that I eventually lay in tatters in between. For my mental health and sanity, I decided that I needed to give a gay relationship a try, and, since I was taught to believe that one couldn’t be gay and Christian, I had to say goodbye to Christ for a short time.

Of course, anyone who has been close to the Divine realizes that such an arrangement doesn’t work. The color drained out of my life; all the vibrancy was gone. I needed to be in relationship with Christ, or risk living a life without meaning. Around that time, God saw fit to bring my fiancĂ© into my life, a man who had recently started searching through the fallacies of his own life to try and reconcile his faith and his sexuality. He encouraged me to ask the hard questions, and, by the grace of God, I did. I was through surviving. I wanted to thrive. I wanted to be the disciple whom Jesus loved, reclining my head on the heart of my Savior, and I wanted that Savior to love me as I was made. Thus began a slow and arduous journey to, once again, discover who I was as a person and who I was in Christ. There was no question that I was going to survive as a Christian—I had to. But I had to discover how to be satisfied and grow as a gay Christian and how to heal the wounds left in me by so many so-called religious people.

As I have journeyed, I have not done so alone. God has seen fit to surround me and my partner with a body of believers that is overflowing with the love of Christ—a body that is not afraid to ask the difficult questions. My quest is by no means finished, but the trip is easier with brothers and sisters that will help carry my burdens and encourage me when I fall down.

So why do I remain in an institution that has done irreparable damage to me—that has piled spiritual abuse upon my head and made me question my First Love? Simply put, I had to: there was never any choice. If God delights not in offerings but in a broken and contrite heart, then how much does he relish the offering of my shattered past? If Christian love covers over a multitude of sins, how much more so does Christ’s love blot out the sins of my oppressors? If Jesus truly did send another Comforter to us, how much closer am I to my God in my sorrow? Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. This is why I endure. This is why I remain.

The Joyous Chortler is beautiful.

Why Remain? by Irritable Reaching

It's a fair question. I have enough departures from "orthodox" Christianity that it won't do for me to cry foul if someone wonders why I'm a Christian at all. This has proven to be a more difficult question than I expected. Usually I joke about it, and maybe the jokes themselves have something to say:

Joke #1: I'm a Christian because God won't let me be an atheist.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the atheist position, but atheism leaves me cold, as do many atheists. I wish them well, but I can't join the club. I don't know that I believe in God as a being who exists and does things. But I persist in thinking that my life has some kind of shape, or purpose, or direction, and I persist in thinking this, intuiting this, often in spite of myself. If I'm getting less and less comfortable in evangelical circles, I'm still smitten by Christian theology. I still believe deeply in the justice proclaimed (however partially) by the Hebrew prophets, and I believe in God as a way of invoking this justice. I don't believe a crucified 1st-century Jew walked out of his grave, but I do believe in resurrection. I don't know what the Holy Spirit is and I don't have the conceptual apparatus to makes sense of any kind of explanation, but I have felt its stirring and in my better moments I respond to its call. Christians, and I must admit evangelicals in particular, are my people, and I cannot deny that I am from here. It's a part of me, and there's a sense in which my life continues in the habits of faithfulness I've learned in community long after the attendant belief system has ceased to be meaningful to me.

Joke #2: I'd become a Buddhist but I don't want to learn a bunch of new words.

Part of the joke here is that I probably have a slightly-better-than-average command of Buddhist terminology. But that's not the point. If humans are rational animals -- and I'm tempted to suggest it depends on the sample -- we are certainly religious ones. I don't think all religions are the same, or point in the same direction, but I do think they express a basic human need. A need for meaning. For purpose. For a way of describing the world not just as we see it or measure it but as we feel it and intuit it. Religion gives us a language to describe the irreducible. It gives us metaphors for things that can only be expressed in metaphor. It gives us rites and rituals to stuff into the gaping existential maw of our own nothingness. It ensures that we only ever see God's backside because no one can see God's face and live. In this regard, Christianity is my native tongue, and I still find it serviceable. Again: this is my heritage. These are my people. That may seem hopelessly unsentimental, but it is not disingenuous. The metaphors I reach for to make sense of and to narrate my experience of the world come from Christian scriptures and Christian theology. Which brings me to:

Joke #3: I'm a Christian because I refuse to surrender the use of perfectly good metaphors to idiots and assholes.

This sounds, and probably is, uncharitable, and of course not all orthodox Christians fit into one of those categories. But drawing boundaries of inclusion and exclusion -- deciding who's in and who's out, and on what basis, seems to be built into the DNA of Christian theology. Some will be saved, some won't. Some are elect, some aren't. Some are numbered among us, some aren't. This is not altogether sinister; if it's going to mean something to be a Christian there has to be some calculus by which one is or becomes a Christian, as well as some means of identifying those who aren't, or who are no longer, Christian. The irony, or at least the troubling inconsistency, is that every group (and, on some level, every person) performs that operation by different calculus. We all have a different sense of what it means to be Christian, a different set of criteria by which we make that designation sensible. The sheer plurality, then, effectively disabuses us of the notion that there is a univocal standard by which being a Christian is rendered intelligible.

I was once asked if I had a personal relationship with Jesus, and I quipped "No, I have to share him with everybody else." I noted in a blog post that if you feel compelled to do something with Jesus, whatever that might be, then you're part of the broader conversation that is Christianity. It may not make you a Christian, per se (I'll leave that to the watchdogs of exclusion), but Jesus is a tenacious and slippery little bastard. He doesn't let go easily, and none of us really gets to tell him what to do. Nor does anyone get to determine what the next person should do with him. Christianity is rife with rich and lush metaphors that speak to us. And stories. Lots of stories. Nobody gets to hoard those. Nobody has the line on how they're supposed to work or what they're supposed to mean. It is a deep and glorious kind of grace that we can go back to that well again and again and find living water.

And that's why I remain.

Irritable Reaching is the author and perfecter of my faith.

What do I love, when I love my God?

I do not like to write, because I do not like to be held accountable.

I do not write. Writing is an act of catharsis; who wants their catharsis to be plastered all over the virtual marketplace of ideas? Or worse, published so that, like Augustine, we must write a new preface full of retractions.

I do not write. I do not write because the thought of being judged is horrifying. I don't want my conservative friends to know that I'm liberal. I don't want my liberal friends to know that I'm conservative. I don't want my metaphysical friends to know that I'm a non-realist, or a hyper-realist, or a deconstructionist. I don't want my post-metaphysical friends to know that I hope to God that the Trinity reflects ontology in some real way and that the analogia entis is true and salutary. I don't want my friends who are well read to know that I don't understand metaphysics or post-metaphysics as well as I would like, or as well as they do.

I don't want to be written off. So I don't write.

But I think that the reason I don't write is the reason that I remain a Christian. Because I have hope that there is someone, something, some being, some force, who (that) understands me; who will let me be, even if I'm not sure I can understand being. Because I have hope that there is an event, a future where words won't matter at all, where words will matter so much that humanity will not waste a single word writing me off.

I am put off by those with a faith that has no room for faith, but I understand it. I want so badly to be right. Not to have to second guess everything. Not to have to guess about anything. But I know too much to know that I know anything. And I don't know enough to know whether or not knowing anything is knowable. And I don't know what I love when I love my God. But I love God. And I hope (and pray without ceasing) that God loves me (more than mind can measure or time contain).

So I don't write, but I am a Christian. But not that kind of Christian. But not a new kind of Christian. I would like to think that I am the kind of Christian who followed Jesus without knowing where he was going; Who didn't have a succinct creed to sum up every metaphysical reality or to tell about the light from lightness of Christ; Who didn't yet have hope in the resurrection or the life of the world to come; Who simply left what he was doing and followed an unknown.

I would like to think that I am the kind of Christian who left her convent to live among the poor; Who knew (or thought she knew) that deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness; who didn't know whether God existed (who can know such a thing?), but existed as god's hands to those whom god's hands had forsaken.

I don't write, but I have friends who do. And I have friends who are Christians. So I will let them write.

And I hope that all of their stories are true.