One of the readings at Simple Shifts last night was Romans 12, and at "Do not be conformed to the world," I thought of Ari, because we routinely invoke that exhortation when we see Christians buying into paradigms of the dominant society which we feel are in conflict with God's Will. (For example, when someone at a church meeting says, "I can eat this cookie because I didn't have dinner tonight," and one of us comments that skipping meals is unhealthy and the first person says they don't care about whether it's healthy, they just want to lose weight. This is where we silently scream, "We are called to be in the world but not of the world! When Paul said, 'Do not be conformed to the world,' this is what he was talking about!")
And I thought of how yeah, it is trufax that we build each other up in faith.
Earlier, I had read aloud from Genesis 2 (we read the second Creation story) and I said "God" where the Inclusive Bible said "YHWH" because Ari won't pronounce the Tetragrammaton and I've come to feel similarly. I'm much less comfortable with gendering Jesus as male because of her and much more comfortable gendering Jesus as female because of her; because of her I think about lesbian christology [sidebar] and transgender eschatology; because of her I think about how it is particularly problematic to gender the (post-Easter) Christ and about how the disciples didn't recognize the risen Christ and about how resurrected bodies (Christ's and ours) are transformed and perfected and how that could mean so many different things. And she thinks about stuff like "kin-dom" language because of me. We push each other. We talk for hours about church and liturgy and theology and worship and what we believe and how that comes out in the language we use and how that is or should be reflected in how we live our lives. We tell each other, "You are a bright, brilliant, beloved child of God -- and you are beautiful to behold." Theology and Scripture is the language we use to talk to each other. (Also fandom, and probably other things. We are a cunningly multi-lingual people.)
Ari and I were talking on Sunday about how our standard for romantic partners is the way we interact with each other.
I talked about this some in therapy on Tuesday, about how the woman who hit on me last week is really really into me and I'm just not that into her, and therp asked me why I'm not that into her and said it back to me that I didn't feel like this woman was deep enough, and suggested that I maybe don't need a romantic partner to be really passionate about the same things I am so long as they have things they are deep and passionate about. I am willing to entertain this possibility, but I do think it would work much better if my partner loved Christianity the way that I do. Yes, if there is stuff of substance that we can connect about, I have an Ari (and other people) for talking about liturgy etc. And if I could have conversations with my partner about gender and ableism and language that marginalizes and all that, even if they weren't engaged in church, maybe that would be fine. But I love church so much -- and it's what I do with so much of my time ... I think I would feel really disconnected if I was all talkative about church two or three or five or six days a week and my partner just nodded indulgently at me -- maybe if they were really engaged with Christianity academically it would be okay if they were non-practicing/non-believers ... but I'm growing in appreciation for the power and value of community, plus this is real to me and there's a profound disconnect if it's not real in that way for another person (though obviously plenty of Christians differ as to which things are True Myth and which are True Fact). And of course I know that lots and lots of interfaith couples work just fine (hello, my parents) -- I'm just talking about figuring out what I think I need. And I'm not setting up any first-date dealbreaker ultimatums anytime soon (I don't think). But I told Ari the other day, that I was so excited that this woman loves her church like I love my church -- but I don't think she loves Christianity like I love Christianity (and I think maybe it would be more accurate to say: she loves her church like I love my church, but she doesn't love church like I love church -- though that's still not exactly it).
1 week ago