This has been a wonderful seven months. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from my Spiritual Autobiography. And so the thinking goes. I never gave up on my calling I just put it on the back burner and I let God down.
Though for years I enjoyed solitude at the abbey, it was not a lonely solitude.Coming back from retreat I felt like a new person and knew God was always going to have my back. Despite my agnosticism, over the next 20 years, I kept allowing myself to be evangelized by eager Christians. As it turned out, the years I spent in Scotland were a prologue to churning shifts in my spiritual life. One was my early conviction of the incompatibility of violence and God. I left the elder board. The Jewish and Christian scriptures disturb me almost as much as they inspire me. Dad lifted his Bible from the bedside table and directed me to a couch in the living room, where he consoled me.
Answers were easy to come by in my home if I stayed alert. Not only in the laud-song chant of the monks, the simple wooden chapel, or the incense fog of the ritual, but in the enchantment of the northwest woods. But what did that even mean?
We get confirmed, not saved.
My friends were often public about their faith, but to me sacred and private felt synonymous. Nonetheless, I questioned. They taught us about God, and through them I learned about His grace, forgiveness, patience, and love.
I felt constantly at the edge of the community, wanting to get in but not quite able to do so.
It was and continues to be pure gift. It opened for me an entirely new way of looking at the early Jesus movement and its eventual scriptures.