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  • Writer's picturedevin lisembee

I am terrified: Getting ready for Atheism for Lent

Whenever I first heard of Atheism for Lent, I was enamored instantly.  A mildly offensive (and potentially blasphemous) title like that had me immediately hooked.  But then it came time to do it.

And I was terrified.

As a recovering evangelical, I take pride in listening to ideologies that I used to run from or even demonize.  But in this situation, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.  That southern, bible thumping boy deep inside was panic stricken by the idea of practicing atheism for Lent.

But then I got to speak to the man himself, Peter Rollins, and learned a few things (actually, much, much more than a few things).  Our conversation reminded me of the story of the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:21-28).  Jesus did not shy away from being questioned.  It was both welcomed and rewarded.

The same was true for Abraham whenever he argued with God about the destruction of Sodom (Gen 18:22-33).  Jonah went so far as to beg God for death whenever God changed his mind about destroying the Ninevites (Jonah 4).  We see time and again that God doesn’t back away from questioning but almost seems to welcome it.

And then I thought back to my own life.  Every time I have ran from God or questioned the Almighty, God came and found me.  In fact the Divine has always showed up in new and unexpected ways.  I wasn’t looking for God whenever I watched Jenna Levine talk about the sounds of black holes and the echoes of the big bang found in everyday white noise on the radio.  But there it was, echoes of the voice of God found in the annoying spaces between radio channels.

Lastly, I thought of Ben’s blog post about Moses.  How many times had Moses walked that very part of the land before noticing the burning bush?  How many times had he stood on that holy ground without even realizing it?

What new places will God show up?  Or better yet, where are the places that I once walked past, argued with or even demonized that the Divine has been waiting all along to reveal itself?

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