Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner
“Later that night, I find myself thinking, maybe this is a way of inhabiting faith that is, indeed, faithful; that is generative. Maybe God has given some people belief like a pier, to stand on (and God has given those people’s steadiness to the church, to me, as a reminder, as an aid), and maybe God has given others something else: maybe God has given to some this humming sense that we know nothing, this belief and disbelief a hundred times an hour, this training in nimbleness (and maybe that is a gift to the church, too).” - Lauren Winner
This book is filled with grief, faith, doubt, community, loneliness and hope. It is many things, a collection of “notes” in which the author’s crisis of faith began following the death of her mother and unhappy marriage resulting in divorce. She writes an authentic and compelling memoir about the hardship of “middles,” where God is distant and far away. She captures what is raw and honest in a few spare lines.
This book is challenging me in my struggle with faith. I like tidy conclusions and wrapped up conversations. I am learning that faith does not provide a tidy conclusion. In the same way this book is not a linear narrative. It doesn’t give a lot of comfort, at least not the kind of comfort I sometimes expect. It doesn’t sanctimoniously conclude that God was always present even when he cannot be felt. It doesn’t proclaim victory over doubt and despair. Instead, it attempts to rekindle faith, to reconnect with humanity and to tell our story. That we would reflect on our glimpses of God through our fragment experience of moving forward.