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The Church

We define “church” in emotional terms as a sanctuary or place of refuge. Objectively speaking, it’s a box. We hide under boxes to shield ourselves from thoughts and feelings in an unsafe world. These boxes take various forms, like personal, familial and political allegiances. However, they all serve the same purpose. They allow us to escape the messy work of negotiating our lived experiences.

Narushima Trip
Photograph from “Narushima”.

Narushima Trip
Photograph from “Narushima”.

There’s a tiny island off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
It is called Narushima. There are only twelve children on the island.
Three of them are Christians.
All photos courtesy Alan Clayton Williams/Veritalens.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98546018@N06/15507663721/
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/98546018@N06/15323907269/
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

We define “church” in emotional terms as a sanctuary or place of refuge. Objectively speaking, it’s a box. We hide under boxes to shield ourselves from thoughts and feelings in an unsafe world. These boxes take various forms, like personal, familial and political allegiances. However, they all serve the same purpose. They allow us to escape the messy work of negotiating our lived experiences. From the safety of boxes we insist that it’s acceptable to judge, blame and even deceive others. I bear the scars from painful lived experiences and I sometimes seek refuge in that dark, familiar place when a memory is triggered. But I’ve learned that boxes don’t just shut out pain. Sometimes they obscure the radiance and the splendour of unconditional acceptance and love.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

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