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Inside Out and Outside In

DSC00228Am reading a book by a young author who decided to take her lack of religious faith undercover into the heart of the evangelical world, with the intent of writing about her experience.

The woman admits struggling for awhile with the lies she knew she was going to have to tell to pull off her research. But decides to go for the story.

Without a doubt, she found what she was looking for, and eventually came out the other side not only with a book, but also with her unbelief still intact.

In the middle of reading about her journey, I find myself with all kinds of mixed emotions. On one hand I’m amazed at how deeply she got into the lives and culture of one of America’s most well known churches. As a reader I find myself reliving her experience through the eyes of someone who is very much in touch with her own thoughts and feelings while discovering another world— that is, in so many ways, my own.

Sometimes I put down the book feeling like I’ve been in a twi-light zone, and need to try to find my way back to myself— and maybe moreso… to others.

It’s not comfortable to hear inside jokes, insider talk, and blind familiarity—described by someone who has found her way into too much of what we’d rather keep to ourselves, while looking at others through our own caricatures of “outsiders”/”them”.

So far, though, what I have also found  interesting is that the author takes note, and describes at some length some of those “individual people of faith” who seem as real as they are respectful, considerate, and loving.

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