The Edge

I read a fascinating post this morning about an artist who recognized her perpetual state of standing against the status quo. 

Far be it from me to loosely associate ideas, but I must say that I suddenly found a sense of affirmation here, perhaps a solution to a long-standing struggle of late, if indeed giving up can be construed as a solution. Karen and I attend a “community church.” I began attending for two reasons: firstly, it is a community that thrives on the arts. Secondly, it adheres to no denomination, and I can’t stand any form of denominationalism. However, I’ve come to discover over the past few months (much to my chagrin) that the community church ideal is, in fact, its own denomination. I’m still struggling with that, but, worse, I’ve been struggling with this entire concept of community. 
See, I’ve realized (at Karen’s explanation, as I realize many things) that each denomination simply tends to emphasize a different aspect of our faith: Pentecostalism emphasizes the Holy Spirit, Baptists emphasize baptism, Anglicans communion…and so with the community church. My issue is that each emphasis seems to be falsely exaggerated. As such, relationships with others is (too) highly prized. I’m a writer. Writing involves solitude. You see the problem already, I imagine. 
I became involved with the theatre group at this particular community of faith in the hopes that I might actually “fit in” at a church for the first time in my life. I’ve discovered that I was sorely mistaken, something that was initially frustrating. 
This morning, though, I may have found my liberation. 
Because I’ve realized that my non-conformist failure to “fit in” is actually not a problem at all, but rather a gift. It permits me to always see (if not accept) the divergent perspective, and to create. I create from the edge, and this is, as best I can tell, how I am designed. I, like the blogger I read this morning, am able to shun evangelical pop culture and engage life at its depth because I am on the edge. I am able to see the bigger picture because I am on the edge, because my allegiance is to God and not to any particular community or group. I am suddenly very comfortable, and very glad, to be always on the outer edge and never quite “fitting in,” because to fit in would be to dilute life, to forsake a part of who I was created to be, and what I was (I think) created to do. I don’t completely forsake community…as with all the emphases I mentioned above, it is an important aspect of our faith, and many people I know thrive on it. Too much of it, however, is a very negative experience for me. And to move back from the edge means sacrificing more than just my preferences…it means endangering the core part of who I am, however flawed and messed up that I have tendencies to be. 
So, I’ll gladly stay on that edge, gladly refuse to conform, gladly refuse to be programmed, and gladly hold different perspectives. I’ll gladly be the one who is misunderstood, and who pursues a bit too passionately.
I’ll gladly follow Christ the only way I truly know how: from the edge. 

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