I don't have a lot of people I talk to about matters of faith. That's by design: I'm a natural introvert who needs to need a lot of time to work things about before being ready to talk about them, and I tend to find it easier to write about things on my own rather than process them verbally with others.
But I do have a few friends with whom to talk about these things, and I was on the phone with one of them recently, talking about why I don't go to church and don't care to. And it was one of those moments where I could hear myself talking, saying something I've said a thousand times, and realized what I was saying was all wrong.
I've heard people describe this as being "stuck in your story." And I think that's what happened to me. I realized I've been saying something for a long time that doesn't really ring the bell in its truest spot, so to speak. Not that anything I was saying was dishonest or deflective; just that it wasn't quite the right way to say it.
It occurs to me that this is precisely why I don't like talking very much about spirituality: Most of it, for me at least, defies words. I like the verses in Matthew where Jesus encourages people to keep their giving private and their prayers quiet. My soul is the dearest part of me; the idea of showing it to just anyone grates. I prefer to show it through my actions, and, to a lesser degree, through my writing.
There are those who've called me "secretive" for this. But the word secretive implies shame and an attempt to conceal. Nothing could be further from correct. My soul's a bit of a tangled knot, like a gold chain kept too long in a drawer I'm working, slowly, patiently, to untangle.
To be honest, I don't see my life's Sunday mornings involving worship services. Sundays are so wonderful at my home. I do the New York Times crossword puzzle. Bri makes brunch—he's a creative and able chef, and it's always delicious. I schedule a week's worth of vox poetica posts and catch up on whatever other work needs to be done for that site. We do laundry. We clean. We shop for groceries. We take it easy. When it's warm, we go for bike rides.
I seek to live a life of generous, openhearted, hard-working, big love. Will church ever be a part of that? For now, no, and I feel very deeply Okay about that. Maybe someday, that'll change. Maybe it won't. But here I sit on a Sunday, at home, and for right now, it's the holiest place I could be.