Monday, February 23, 2009

The Amazing Faiths Project

I rarely talk explicitly about my faith on this blog. If you know me, you can probably tell that my faith is not is just not out in the way many from the Bible Belt share it with quotes, italics, and scripture verses. I don't really have a problem with this type of openness, but I have always been a little more discreet. My issue with this began when I skimmed through the 2007
Oklahoma Blog Awards last year. Nearly every blog was drowning in Religious Cliche. I couldn't decide if this is just what makes and Oklahoma Blog an Oklahoma Blog or if you could only receive a nomination if you wore your faith on your sleeve. Not to mention the views shared were all strangely similar. Last week I found the link to the 2008 Okie Blog Awards.....same thing....REALLY? I read a lot of blogs written by people across the country. Many, many of them are people of faith, but few of them fill their posts with scripture and personal testimony's the way they do in Oklahoma.

Let me digress a moment. Last week I went to an event hosted here in Oklahoma City called The Amazing Faiths Project. It was publicized to the community as an Interfaith Event to bring people of all faiths together to share their experience with faith. We walked in, filled out name tags, and received pieces of of paper.  The paper was color coded and represented our faith tradition.  The Rabbi talked about the sanctuary and a little about the Jewish tradition.  Then we had the opportunity to go into the next room and form small groups.  The idea was to get in groups with various faith tradition.  We set a date to meet for dinner and answer questions based on our personal experience with our faith.  I found this event to be eye opening. Although there were not a lot of people there, a fair number of faiths were represented.  This is something that does not happen very often here in Oklahoma.  What I found especially refreshing, was the openness everyone was with one another.  People seemed very open to deepen their faith by learning about the traditions of others.  

Here is where these two situations collide and it hit me.....I need this type of environment for MY faith to be strengthened.  I don't mean strengthened in the "now I feel closer to God or Jesus" kind of way.  More the "I have a clearer sense of God and the many facets of God's love, and compassion through history."  This is where a small piece of clarity came.  It is comfortable for me to share my life through the lens of my faith as long as it focuses on what is generally acceptable around here.  Unfortunately, this story is only part of my story.  I suppose you want me to tell you what I believe.  Well, I am not comfortable with that now.  I hope that eventually I will be at a point where I can be more open, but for now....if you want to know, lets do lunch.

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