when I was a child

I read stories of talking animals. I talked to my stuffed animals. I hoped for them to talk back to me. I slowly learned the difference between fantasy and reality. I started to learn facts, statements about reality. When my elementary school was closing at the end of my first grade I told my grandmother I had to repeat my grade at the new school. I was wrong, but I didn't know how school and summer break worked together back then as a six year old. I was earnest, but I was ignorant.

I'm still earnest and ignorant. I earnestly believe I'm more aware of my ignorance in my middle age.

I can understand why fundamentalist Christianity appealed to my earnest desire to proclaim facts, distinguishing them from fantasy in my budding scientific mind. Four spiritual laws. Ten commandments. The Fundamentals. The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. Creation science. For every question or doubt, a verse, a proof text will answer. Nuance, mystery, and heart knowledge, all childlike was no longer needed. I thought like an adult.

But I was earnest and ignorant.

I am a humbled adult now. I'm humbled by the complexity of the physical world. As a scientist working in the same area of research for over a decade, the answers keep coming up incomplete. I'm also humbled by the complexity of my faith. Christianity is old and diverse. It's closet is full of skeletons and treasures. I have a single lodestar to help me navigate the faith, God is love.

This assertion is enough for the rest of my earnest and ignorant life.


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