Our world is so small. Especially when you are in Edinburgh, and when you are part of the wider church community.
In my day to day life I bump in to a couple of people, quite regularly, who I used to go to the same church as. I no longer go to that church. I have moved on and changed a lot since I was a part of that particular church. I am not the same person I was then in so many ways. I am part of a different church. I am involved in new ways with the wider Christian community in Edinburgh, in Scotland, in the world. I do not see the church as I saw it then. I do not see faith as I saw it then. I do not see myself as I saw myself then.
I do not see much, in fact, the same as I saw it then.
Why? Because life was very different then. Because I was a lot younger. Because I was more impressionable then than I am now. Because I have been away and experienced new things. Because I now know, and others now know, more so who I am. Because I have stood up for myself and my beliefs. Because I have seen people hurt by churches. Because I have been hurt by churches. Because my faith has changed. Because my understanding of the world has changed. Because everyone changes. Because the world changes. And we need change.
So why is it tricky to see these people from the other church I was part of? Because I think they assume I am the same person as I was then, when they knew me then. But I am not.
(I use the word ‘churches’ not to single out one particular local church, parish, denomination etc – as I mean ‘churches’ in it’s various forms.)