Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dear Rachel:

It's not that you grew up outside of Birmingham, roughly two and half hours from where I lived and grew up in Mississippi. I mean, it practically makes us neighbors (of a sort), but there's more.

It's not that you have helped to disprove the theory that everyone who roots for or loves the University of Alabama wasn't held enough as a child. I mean, we are rivals (of a sort - Hail State), but there's more.

It's not that you're a gifted and articulate speaker. I mean, your smile and laugh alone can alone instill quiet (of a sort) and disarm some of your detractors, but there's more.

It's that there is a genuine warmth in your words that comes across on the printed page.

It's that when I met you, you had such a welcoming and honest spirit that it put my inner fanboy at ease. You treated me as a friend, and not someone who just happens to read your blog. And you were that way with every person that came up to you. 

It's that there is such heart, such passion, and such intelligence behind everything you do. Yes, even the camping out in a tent bit.

It's that what you write shakes me from a complacency in my faith that I may have settled in to, and causes me to live a life that - well, lives out in word and deed that which I claim to believe.

It's that you have taught me so much. I imagine that the years I struggled with my faith, questioning it all while shaking an angry fist at the sky, would have been better had I known I was not as alone as I felt I was. 

It's that you invite the marginalized, the ignored, and the cast out to the table and say "Tell me - tell us - your story." It's the 21st century equivalent of foot washing, showing honor to many that the church would prefer to silence.

Kids of all ages - regardless of gender -
LOVE reading about biblical womanhood!
It's that every time my kid sees your photo on my laptop, he says "Daddy, it's your friend Wachel!" As he grows older, reading your words will help him to know that everyone, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic standing, or sexual orientation, is a beautiful child of God and can and does deserve respect. It will help him know that mom and dad aren't the only people of faith who think and act that way, despite what mainstream Christian culture might show him.

Some may say you're mocking. I say you're not afraid to investigate. A faith that does not hold up under scrutiny is not a faith I want to take part in. Besides, you are fierce to defend our faith to those who would detract it, and yet comfortable enough in your beliefs to question some of what is said MUST be done.

(Plus, the God we serve has to have a bit of snark in Him. After all, we do. Since we are made in His image, God must love sarcasm. Trust the theology of the quick wit.)

Rachel Held Evans. It's been an honor to get to know you as a person and not just as an online presence. I am humbled by your even knowing my name. You, my friend, are a true woman of valor. Eschet chayil!

And "Roll Tide." 

This blog entry was written as part of a surprise synchroblog event to support the work of Rachel Held Evans and to celebrate the launch of her new book A Year Of Biblical Womanhood, available at finer non-biased bookstores everywhere.

To read the other entries in the synchroblog, click here


joan said...

I appreciate your desire to be cautious and scrutinize all things as perhaps a good Berean would do. In that spirit I offer you this review as we also hold RHE up to the light of good scholarship and biblical interpretation. Would love to know what you think of this review. http://thegospelcoalition.org/book-reviews/review/a_year_of_biblical_womanhood

Ed_Cyzewski said...

Great post, great pic, and great line about "non-biased bookstores." Ha! You rock.