A reader writes: sneaking around behind their backs to truly experience God

Here’s the comment:

Mr. McLaren,
I have been trying to write this for an hour now, having every interference stand in the way, from feelings of insignificance to children interrupting to having to install a new email service in order to proceed. But I have found that sometimes the abundance of obstacles in our way is precisely what leads us in the right direction. I have certainly stumbled through enough walls recently to have realized that many of them are only holograms intended to divert us.
I just started reading “Everything Must Change” and was struck by the comment that “we can’t find a short way of describing it yet”. I had not thought of the question yet, although I certainly wasn’t comfortable with any label I have heard or had applied to my views. (I just read one of your blog entries stating exactly how I feel: I’m not picking a label for myself from that catalog, that whole system is insufficient!) My grandfather was a Southern Baptist Preacher when I came into this world and I have been the up close witness and ‘rebellious’ (though hesitantly committed) participant in my “family tree of religion” as it has changed through the decades and stretched out its arms beyond a naked trunk. (Now they are Non-Denominational, the newest non-label-turned-label) I have enjoyed the evolution of their views but have yet to feel like even I could fit into the box, let alone the God I have finally come to know for myself. I have felt as if I had to sneak around their backs to truly experience my Savior and Creator with abandonment. They have ‘known’ Him much longer than I have, yet I feel the yearning to witness to them! I think what I have found is Love. Not the performance of it, but the realization of it and its ability to animate everything. I believe that’s the heart of it. Maybe we are simply Agape Love-ists, practicing Love-ism?
I don’t have a friend or mentor, other than my mother (who is very supportive but isn’t available often), who is willing to listen or ask questions or get involved in the conversation. When I bring up my questions and the paths they have led me down, I am met with sympathy, concern or stern correction. But it doesn’t make me recoil. I am understanding the unfathomable depths of “Perfect Love casts out fear”.
I haven’t read what you have to say about the “Suicide Machine”, but immediately I thought, “I have seen that”. I ‘think in pictures’ quite often and then (desperately and laboriously) attempt to capture it in written word. Unfortunately, there is much which can’t be described easily, and my writings tend to be too lengthy and detailed for most people I know. Anyway, I have described the machine, since I feel my artistic abilities are not capable of capturing it in sketch- although I am passionate about having people to begin to “see” through these foundationless principles of performance that have the masses deceived.
I found it slightly amusing when you said you are just a regular person like the implied ‘us’, and then went on to tell of all that you have accomplished. Maybe to you that’s just a ‘regular’ person, but to me it is something to be admired- not because I admire status, but because I admire the passion you must have to pursue such a path. I haven’t achieved any of the accomplishments that would give me any position to be heard, and I have always been timid. God has led me down this path for a reason and I have already seen many of the chains that hold me in my seat, and seal my mouth, crumbling to ash. But they have to know. Thank you for helping to open the doors for some of us. You are like an echo in pitch back emptiness- letting me know that I’m not alone. I am so grateful that you have the ability to share these things with a large audience and not stand down in the moments of resistance. I just read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” yesterday and I would bet that you wouldn’t be on the list of the people he was disappointed in. I believe he would be proud.

Thanks for your note and your kind words. Wouldn’t it be great to be known as people who are part of a movement of love for all, no exceptions?