"You go by many names / Forever stay the same /
Your promises I claim / You’re all I’ve got..."
Community can be found in the strangest of places. When religion falls short of its aims, we might find relational depth –and even "congregation"– where we least expect those things... Maybe even in arenas that we've specifically been taught to fear or to treat with skepticism.
In the church, when we realize that truth and beauty can exist outside of the constraints and compartments we've allowed for it, many of us run. We run from the implications of having found meaning where we weren't supposed to. We clear out. We shut down. Anything to keep ourselves from being "corrupted" by that influence. We all know instinctively that resonance shapes us and informs who we are, and so many of us avoid the very connection and intimacy we so desperately need whenever the source is unfamiliar.
But though context can shift, content doesn't. Substance is what it is. And so, beyond the walls we prop up to stay safe... beyond our exclusivity and skepticism... beyond all of the parameters rooted in fear... and beyond the familiar ease and comfort of being thought of as "on the inside"... the margins beckon.
It turns out that the Light is brighter than we've been told. It can't be contained. The language we've always valued still has its place, and the ideal community we've always desired can easily take on new dimensions in a new environment.
And that's why the promises made to us by our faith communities may ultimately find real traction "out there" in the real world.
This week's podcast draws from seven different voices to weave a conversation about all of these things and more.
They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you're a credit to their teaching–
But can't you hear the wild?–it's calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the wild is calling, calling . . . . let us go.
– from "THE CALL OF THE WILD" by Robert W. Service
You bear the weight of all our grief / Uncertainty and unbelief / Oh, you restore our sanity..."
OUR THIRD EPISODE DANCES WITH THE THEMES AND IDEAS OF 'THE SPIRIT BEARS THE CURSE' – THE THIRD TRACK (AND FIRST SINGLE) ON DEREK WEBB'S NEW ALBUM, 'FINGERS CROSSED.'
THE SONG ITSELF ALSO PROVIDES THE ENTIRE MUSICAL AND SONIC BACKDROP TO ANY PHONE CALLS AND CORRESPONDENCE WE ARE FEATURING THIS WEEK.
"...I am calling out the only name /
That delivers me from my guilt and shame /
ABOUT SEASON ONE:
Derek Webb has described his new album, Fingers Crossed, as 'a tale of two divorces.' Our first season of The Airing of Grief Podcast dives into the album track-by-track, with each song providing the themes and musical backdrop for an accompanying episode. Whether you're new to Derek's music or a longtime fan, the topics discussed and the stories of our guests should prove themselves to be a compelling journey for any listener. Wherever you might find yourself on issues of faith or spirituality, there is room at the table for all of these voices to be heard and celebrated. Raw, real, and authentic, The Airing of Grief strives to be a safe place to strip away the pretense and really listen to the heart.