This one goes out to anyone who’s ever been ashamed of their emotions, anyone who’s felt vulnerable for crying in a public space.
Eventually I sob out to a few friends on Voxer: Who am I? What am I doing with my life? – and it feels good to have released something. My friend Sarah replies, and says that in lots of cultures around the world, the women, particularly the mothers, are the archivists. They record the memories, take the photos, write the stories.
Unfortunately, far too many of us suffer because we think the questions mean we are not true believers. That if we had a real faith then even in the most tragic of situations we wouldn’t have any questions. That our faith would be unshakeable. Unbreakable. That’s the lie. I can’t help but wonder if the opposite is actually true. What if our questions actually reveal the strength of our faith rather than its weakness?
You can still get it for free by signing up on my website and reading it on PDF or emailed to your Kindle. But – if you love the physicality of books, and you would rather turn pages with your whole hand rather than a finger, my short book on the biblical book of Ruth is now available to purchase, from Amazon, for a mere £3.99 or $5.50.
Covenant friends are friends you commit to for life, a bit like a marriage relationship, but without necessarily the geographical proximity. (And without the sex, obviously).
I feel a little embarrassed even comparing platonic friendships with marriage, and I think that sense of shame is worth noting – we have to explain or apologise for close friendships. Our society unconsciously sends the message that intimacy and commitment is reserved only for romantic relationships, so we treat very close friendships with suspicion.
There was something in me that needed to see for myself. I had had the supernatural miracle of an encounter with the divine messenger, but I needed to see the supernatural made natural: a woman who couldn’t be pregnant, miraculously pregnant. Sometimes we need to see it in someone else before we can truly believe it for ourselves.
And at some point, the wind changed, blown by God’s spirit. After my years of silence, I finally have things to say, and I am not holding back. The strangest thing is that now when I call my people a brood of vipers they listen, they nod, they can’t get enough of it.
The people think, of course, that nothing will happen. They think because they are rich, they are safe. They have no idea how quickly things can turn around, how speedily their world can implode.