I’m fangirling really hard over Christopher West’s Fill These Hearts, a book that combines theology and pop culture to discuss the universal longings of everyone’s heart for ecstasy, truth, beauty, and Love. It is explaining so much of myself, things I thought were silly but are maybe profound.
One of the things he talks about is how our world is a twisted version of what is meant to be. Death appears where there was only meant to be life, ugliness and pain where there was meant to be only beauty and pleasure. But despite the presence of these evil things, we still get to enjoy life, beauty, and pleasure. And it is in these gifts that we get a taste of what eternity with God will be like.
I don’t know about you, but there have been many times in my life when I’ve felt so happy I could just die. Most of the time, I’ve stopped myself. Of course I’m not really ready to die. I’m just really happy. But there are two times when I caught myself, then realized yes, I really would be okay if this were the moment I were ushered into eternity. Here they are: Continue reading
When I grew up in church, there was a lot of talk about Jesus filling “the hole in your heart.” The implication was that before becoming a Christian, you were empty inside, and after, you became full. This is an incredibly dangerous theology, because it is absolutely not true.
In middle school, I went through a period of pretty significant depression. I would pray for God to kill me, because thankfully I was too scared to do so myself. A lot of my pain came from the fact that I carried an enormous amount of guilt. I was a Christian, so why wasn’t I perfect? If God had filled me up inside, why did I still want so much? Why did I long for a perfect life, perfect relationships, and perfect experiences? If Jesus was the answer to everything, why did I still feel so empty?
I wrestled with these questions alone, because I worried I was the only person thinking such things. My doubts seemed to fly in the face of the salvation narrative I had been taught, so naturally, I thought perhaps I was not saved at all. The combination of adolescence, evangelical guilt, and suffering alone put me in a very bad place for a couple years. And honestly, I didn’t heal so much as I ignored my doubts in favor of legalism and distraction. Continue reading
I cannot watch this scene from The Two Towers without crying. It has become my inspiration and motivation as I prepare for Greece. Saying that, I immediately feel dumb, because who am I to compare my decision with the epic quest of Frodo and Sam? But perhaps my feelings of insignificance are exactly what qualify me as a hobbit. Continue reading