My story, like yours, is incomplete. It has not found its ending, and it is ever finding new beginnings. Accordingly, this blog does not have an end, and it does not start at the beginning. A leap of faith gave it reason for being, and the need for faith keeps it alive.
You will find here the account of a journey. Emerging from an attempt to be honest and a need to be whole. The life I live, the journey I am on, is that of a young, single, female clergywoman with a fierce loyalty to her generation and a deep awareness of its burdens and gifts. To inhabit such a reality is to struggle metaphorically against the past history of the treatment of woman within the church, as well as to struggle concretely with the obstacles still surrounding all who are marginalized because of gender, race, ethnicity, orientation, age, language, ability, etc. While naming that I am a woman who has experienced privilege, I also verbalize my commitment to live a life that does not follow the script laid out but instead remains at the table of struggle in order to write a different story for this church and this society – the story our God of justice and mercy is calling us to live.
In the most recent stage of this journey, I began to find my freedom by embracing the words of a Leonard Cohen song, Anthem: “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” After 30 years of carrying the pressure to be good enough – to pass the class, to get the scholarship, to receive the love, to make the team, to fit the calling, to fill the pulpit, to satisfy the expectations – I made the decision to embrace the holes that make me human & the cracks that let the light in. I embrace the marks left on me by the struggle, because all the scars that make me beautiful were earned through acts of love.
This blog is dedicated to all who struggle to live these words “For freedom Christ has set us free.” In all the times of joy, make sure to celebrate grandly; and in all the moments of pain, stop completely and listen to the voice of God saying, “I am with you. I am here.”
Hannah Adair Bonner is the Curator of The Shout: a spoken-word poetry focused artivism movement seeking to nurture a community of multi-ethnic, multi-generational, justice-seeking, solidarity-building people. She is ordained in the United Methodist Church. She graduated from Duke Divinity School and Furman University, but truly received her education from friends like you.