I am a person of faith.
I am also a person who has exactly zero certainty of what anything means.
Chalk that up to being in my twenties. And in seminary. Basically, my whole life is one perpetual, snowballing existential crisis.
I am many other things. I am a theologian, a student, a wife, a writer, an artist, a person with mental illnesses, a Green Party member, a hopeful educator, an erstwhile Christian turned pluralist, an activist, a pop culture nerd, a goofball, a lover.
I am also a heretic.
I used to get angry with this word. I thought it meant I was disingenuous, that I didn’t really believe anything I said and that I had no moral or ethical grounding. I thought it meant I was a troublemaker.
(Okay, that last one might be true.)
I minored in Greek in my undergrad days, because I have no sense of what “sanity” is. There I learned that the word “heretic” comes from the Greek word ἠρημος (heremos), which means “wilderness” or “desert.” In the second and third centuries AD, the Desert Fathers and Mothers fled to the desert to escape the world around them (which was, most likely, persecuting them) and grow closer to the Divine. John the Baptist and Jesus also did this. The desert is the place where outcasts sojourn. It is where the meek test their strengths. It is where relentless souls go to wander, not towards a destination, but for the sake of the journey.
This is my wandering the desert.