It was Jubilee 2010, before Jenn and I started CCO; in fact, we were there interviewing with different area directors at Jubilee. I was technically still an undergrad student, but Jenn would have been one year out at this time and we were ready to start anew somewhere else.
I can still remember when she came on stage to speak to the larger group. Susan Isaacs was a name I had heard and a face I had recognized, but was not prepared for what was to happen. Acting out a part from her book, Angry Conversations with God, she spoke with more truth and candid honesty than I had heard any Christian speak before. So, Jenn and I, obviously, bought her book and were excited to read it.
I’m not a huge corporate worship person. If I’m honest, it tends to annoy me more than bring me into the presence of God… as a musician I struggle with this (but that is another blog in the making). It was during one of the many worship times I decided to walk out to the Hearts and Minds bookstore setup (http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/) in the main lobby. This is where I ran into Susan. I approached her meekly and thanked her for her honesty. I told her that I wish more Christians were as honest with their faith journey; it would make our job much easier. It was at this point that I burst into tears.
I look back on this moment and ask myself over and over, “What the hell happened there?” I’m not sure what brought me into such a state of heartbreak. I have not had any terrible experiences in the church, or know someone close to me who has. Perhaps it was her story that made me empathetic towards her words, or just the thought of her struggle that so many experience. As I now read her book, I can’t tell you what hit me in that moment, but I must confess: I see a similar confusion and conflict in some of the students I work with, in my friends, family, and even myself.
Where are my tears now? Why will I not weep when I see the injustices in the world? Or when I see someone struggling with the idea of God’s love for them? Perhaps this will be an ongoing struggle, but for now I want to thank Susan Isaacs for bringing on those tears, as embarrassed as I was at the time, I pray that God can open those ducts of empathy on a more regular, and appropriate, basis.