The Work of the People

MAR 17, 2015 - Visual Epistles

Sitting In the Dark

How can we learn to trust that what comes into your life is not against us but for us? For Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, this is a statement of faith that will take us to the core of being human and knowing pain. Taylor shares how pain can break the idols in our lives and transform our lives into something beautiful. 

Questions for Reflection 

  1. Taylor talks about what she describes as “spiritual bypassing” where people talk about “how to bypass pain, explain away pain.” In what ways do Christians want to bypass pain and find ways around it instead of dealing with it? How is this a healthy response to pain? 

  2. Taylor says, “Not to accept suffering as a normal, inevitable part of being alive seems like a big mistake, and covering it up seems like anesthesia.” How is pain an “inevitable part of being alive”? 

  3. Taylor says, “If I will trust what comes to me is for breaks my idols.” How can we learn to trust in this way? How will this trust break our idols? 

  4. Taylor observes that this pain sometimes breaks people and it is a “faith statement” to say that we could trust that the pain is something “for us.” This, Taylor says, is a “great mystery” as to how some people can handle the pain and others can be broken by it. How can we learn to accept this uncertainty about our lives? How can we allow this to be transformed into faith? 

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About Altɐr

We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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