In our culture of talk shows and late night Facebook posts, there are many occassions for covering our ears and protesting, “TMI!” [Too Much Information] But in the church, too often we suffer from Too Little Information. In a community that claims to be formed in response to God’s grace – God’s free gift of love for all people – shame keeps our mouths shut. We are afraid of being judged – of being injured in the name of God – and this not an unreasonable fear, but one rooted in hard experience. And so we sit in a pew (or flee from it), holding back our unique history which, if we found the right persons to share it with, would prove to be not so unique after all.
For years I avoided sharing that I had married and divorced in college. And for good reason – I had learned from an early age that silence and shame were the expected responses to a divorce within the Christian community. But when I began to write about divorce, I found that many pastors and other Christian friends had divorced and remarried, too – and they thanked me for talking about it. This encouraged to share more deeply about the ongoing spiritual and emotional impact of losing my first marriage, including in an essay, “Leaving a Marriage, Finding Jesus,” which will be published in an upcoming book!
Today, I am excited to announce the Indiegogo campaign for that book – Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank About Faith (coming from White Cloud Press in October.) I am one of 40 women who contributed essays to this book, edited by Enuma Okoro and Erin Lane. Each one of us is committed to starting a conversation and keeping it going. The radical hospitality of extending Christian love to all people begins with telling our own stories and listening to each other’s stories with grace and humility. When you pre-order your copy of Talking Taboo through the Indiegogo site, that gives us the resources we need to publicize the book – and to get conversations started in our churches. Once you have read the book, I am sure you will agree that we have a lot to talk about.