If you were to take a look at my (soon-to-be defunct, sob!) Google Reader, you would see that I am an avid follower of Kveller, The Sisterhood, and the Velveteen Rabbi. However, I also closely follow the blogs of Rachel Held Evans, Sarah Bessey, and Glennon Doyle Melton. A quick scan of their blogs would tell you that these three women are Christians. They write about faith and spirituality. And while I may not see my own faith reflected in every single blog post, I adore them all. They are wonderful writers, women, and Christians. And I have been reading their blogs longer than I have been reading the women of Kveller. In fact, it was through Rachel Held Evan’s blog that I first found the Velveteen Rabbi.
It might initially seem strange or even problematic for a Jewish woman to find so much comfort in the writings of Christians. I tend to keep my love of these women and their excellent writing to myself. However, when I read this post by Sarah Bessey, I thought it was time to share my love of Sarah Bessey with you all.
Sarah writes about the evolution of her writing and says,
“The very nature of arguments require simplification. When we are arguing, we go to our base lines. We turn people into props, interactions to proving grounds, theology into theories, because we have a point to prove … These are my neighbours. These are my co-workers. I loved them. And when I loved them, I didn’t want to use them as props anymore.”
As a Jew in the South, I have been evangelized to more times than I can count. And if there is one thing that I could say to the (mostly) well-meaning evangelists, it would be this: I am not a prop, please don’t talk to me as if I am. Many of my dearest friends are Christians. We have had discussions – and even arguments – about faith (more discussions than arguments). I can discuss Judaism and faith until I am blue in the face. I have nothing against a discussion. I don’t even have anything against an argument about religion, faith, G-d, you name it! What bothers me is when I am a prop in the conversation.
And it was a Christian writer who gave me the words to make that distinction. And that is – among other reasons – why I am a thankful and loyal reader of Sarah Bessey’s blog.