s2e4: Shallow Answers in the Deep

Season 2.jpg

"Just give me the simple truth."

It's the sort of proud and stubborn thing church people say all the time. Pastors especially. Anything complicated is viewed with suspicion. Feared even. And so an ethos comes into formation: a subculture of people who think the answer to everything is found in their Bibles, which they insist on reading literally... even as they refuse to read them literately

"...Just give me the simple truth."

It's enticing. It can make you feel confident in your lack of depth, and it can shield you from feeling the need to evolve or adapt in your thinking. It can make you wear grossly binary ideas as a badge of honor.

"...Just give me the simple truth."

The great irony of statements like this is that those who make them tend to also end up making a mess of everything, complicating relational dynamics and poisoning their own  response to pain and suffering. In our insistence on oversimplification, we do not preserve an honest view of the core of things. In fact, we fail to recognize essential depth. Fail to appreciate nuance and diversity. Fail to comfort with any real traction. This avoidance of anything that isn't "simple" creates distance. We become two dimensional beings in a multi-dimensional world, offering false hope that does not ultimately satisfy. Trivial explanations and empty engagements fall flat. Our lives carry the pretense of having the answers for everyone, even as we remain in the shallows. And as clichés fail to provide any real comfort, many people have been sacrificed on the altar of our need for "simple" – their identities abused and their hearts left adrift, offered up to a hollow god.

Within this way of thinking, there is no space kept for the complexities of who we are, nor the realities of the things we face. 


The Airing of Grief is a podcast featuring conversations and correspondence about spiritual de- and reconstruction.

There are some great podcasts in production which tackle specific church and theology-related issues at the core of any given episode. And while many such issues arise in our calls and written correspondence, The Airing of Grief itself is not an issues-driven podcast. Instead, our particular focus is the human experience. Our themes are derived from the personal stories and perspectives shared by our guests.

Our ultimate aim is the re-congregating of those who might otherwise feel disenfranchised, cut off, or alone. In processing experiences of religion and spirituality, we hope to learn that we all remain connected, and that there is a strange new community of others who are rooting for us, celebrating us, and sharing the burden of our stories. Regardless of where anyone might land on the spectrum of belief and faith, we recognize a common bond forged in our seasons of pain and disillusionment. As the old saying goes, “A joy shared is doubled, and a grief shared is halved.”

And our desire is to craft a safe place for that. We hope to cultivate real estate for the resonance and empathy which is found when we have the opportunity to invest in one another’s experience.

There is empowerment in speaking the truth of our stories – not only for those sharing, but those listening as well.

s2e5: A Reimagining in Three Acts

s2e3: From Cage to Catalyst