There are signs of awakening all around us. And there are people who are daring to give voice to that awakening; they’re trying to find words to put with their experience. Sarah’s one who’s reaching for words—and she, like so many others, is helping us to imagine the future by doing the hard work of bringing to the light of day what the Holy Spirit is speaking in her during these twilight hours before the Dawn breaks upon us.
“There’s a longing that’s stirring within me—a longing for holiness. You’re right about the Wal-Mart style of Christianity, and it’s created an experience of deep sadness in me, a disappointment at the overall cheapness of it.
“I long for something of value, something of real goodness that cannot be quantified or made systematic. My longings are hard to explain; it’s more of an I-know-it-when-I-see-it kind of thing, and I know it when I see it because it’s real. I’ve also experienced the kind of conversations within church communities that sound like they’re on the right track, but they’re not. People ask each other: ‘what does it look like to be real? How do we create something authentic?’”
Sarah rightly knows there’s an intrinsic link between holiness and realness. And she knows there’s something false lurking nearby when realness is used for some other purpose. The moment real can’t stand on its own as a good thing in its own right, is the moment you’ve come face to face with phoniness all dressed up and looking pretty.
If you’re weary and wary of the charade, chances it’s not cynicism that’s at work in you. You’re part of a larger awakening. But it could turn to cynicism if you don’t link up with others who’ve glimpsed the first rays of Christ’s coming dawn.
In my experience they're often nearer than you think. But knowing each other requires guts; we’ve got to try to give voice to what we’re longing for, and risk speaking it to others.