I’ve had a bit of adventure over the past couple of days in my exchanges with both a Christian and an atheist. Suffice to say it has taught me more about myself than anything else. My struggle has been more along the lines of accepting the loss that Christianity’s frailties exacted on my life. The uber-positive guru groupies might not want to hear anything about loss but that doesn’t change the fact that there is irretrievable loss in many lives. But even in my process of acceptance and healing I find that the loss does afford me a unique treasure through the lessons I’ve learned of value, of the preciousness of every pulse of our lives. And I still have so much to learn. This little nugget from John Spong hit me hard. It’s not that I haven’t realized this truth he expresses before – in terms of how to manage my frustration with narrow-minded Christian thinking. But for whatever reason, it hit more fertile ground in my soul than it has in the past. And it specifically connects with my angst with more ignorant, destructive Christians and encourages me to see things from a different perspective. It doesn’t change the fact that someone’s best experience of the Divine might be so limited and limiting that they actually injure those they have charge of for a season. But it does bathe the angst in a bit of much-needed light, dispersing bitterness in a more balanced perspective… “That person is responding to as much of God as they can experience….” Insert “love” if that’s as far as “god” goes for you, in any case, it’s a beautiful truth Spong expresses here… As someone standing outside of Christianity I still need to hear this from time to time in order to deal with my own reactions to those I experience as toxic.