Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Listening for God
The book that RevGalBlogPals chose for its January 2008 read as Renita Weems’ Listening for God :A Minister’s Journey Through Silence and Doubt. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read it then because I was so intensely preparing for my Contemporary Issues course that got cancelled the day before it was due to start. But I finally read Weems this weekend and, though I found the work terribly uneven, overall I LOVED it. I sympathized with her struggles as both a biblical scholar and a pastor, which she describes as “making me something of a spiritual hunchback, twisting and misshaping my inner self in ways that left me at heart both a cynic and a believer.” (p. 39) I was moved by her clarity and truthfulness as she grappled with having doubt and faith at the same time: “I was never certain even when I believed. I was only certain that I believed.” (41) She wrestles with how to juggle being a minister, mother, partner, writer, and scholar without letting any of them drop and is right on the mark in her critique of male scholars who say that the only way to be a contemplative writer is to have what for women is an unrealistic luxury of leaving the ordinary, everyday world behind. And on top of it all she seems to have a fondness for May Sarton! How I ever missed Listening for God when it came out several years ago is beyond me, but I’m very grateful to RevGalBlogPals for pointing me in its direction.