Rachel Held Evans: Searching for Sunday
“This is what’s most annoying and beautiful about the windy Spirit and why we so often miss it. It has this habit showing up in all the wrong places and among all the wrong people, defying out categories and refusing to take direction.” Rachel Held Evans in Searching for Sunday (Nelson Books 2015), p. 196.
Our world grieves the death of 37-year-old Rachel Held Evans this past Saturday, May 4th, 2019. She was a spiritual voice for so many millennials as well as their parents and grandparents. I treasure that I meet her on her podcasts and at writing conferences, and at our cathedral in Little Rock when they invited her here to speak.
Larry Burton recently reviewed on this blog her newest book, Inspired, a book about the interpretation of some of our favorite Bible stories as she wrestles with some of our greatest questions about suffering and doubt.
Today’s writing relates to a quote from Searching for Sunday where Rachel struggles through the liturgical year trying to find her faith and a church community as she journeys through the sacraments. At Pentecost I hope I will remember that Rachel reminded us that the wind, the Holy Spirit that Jesus described to Nicodemus goes even to the Pharisees, one who eventually heard the wind, spoke up for Jesus at his trial, and personally cared for Jesus’ body when he had been abandoned by most of the rest of the world.
Rachel reminds us that the Spirit is inside but also outside the traditional church if we only have eyes to see and feel it. There is never a corner of the world where God has abandoned its people even when it is so hard to see God in that place or with that people. She reminds us we will know the presence of the Spirit when we know and see the fruit of the Spirit: peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Today we may honor Rachel Held Evans as we try to keep looking for God and the fruit of the Spirit in all kind of places and talking about it in community and writing about it as much as we can.