Though following the antics of The Crossing Church does take up valuable time, not to mention annoyance, I was recently shown the website Blogging for Books and have begun doing book reviews for them. The first book I chose was Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRusha. I had high hopes for this book after reading the back cover: "After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers. Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith.“Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.” Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist."
Though this book starts out with the author exploring her doubt it quickly becomes a checklist on how to be a good church-going Christian. She was raised Catholic, married a Minnesota Lutheran but really had no firm spiritual base of any kind. She begins going to a Lutheran church after moving to Nebraska; more out of feeling she should, trying desperately to fit in and to relieve the loneliness of being in a new place without the security of friends and family.
She has some real moments where she admits her true feelings: "To fake my belief was better than facing the terrifying truth of no life after death." Yet even in her doubt, it's clear she feels she should believe something. She is searching for truth but it results in following the set formula. She flips flops back and forth between acceptance that she'll never fully know the mysteries of the universe to speaking fluent Christianese using every cliche ever written. I wanted to experience her frustration and doubt yet each time she'd get close to being honest and real, she would come back with a pat answer straight from Sunday school.
This book clearly had a Christian Evangelical audience in mind and isn't truly written for someone living in the tension between belief and unknowing.