Your stories

It's been a funny thing, becoming a person who is known as a Christian who writes about atheism, homosexuality and other taboo subjects. I have been really surprised by the response of people as I learn to live out and share the interplay between skeptic and spiritualist in my own mind. My blog has gone from a thing for tech nerds to a thing more about mystery and empiricism.

After I wrote Equal and Michael Gungor wrote about our discussion on doubt, I've started to hear back from people all over the world. What started as hundreds of emails, tweets, Facebook messages and contact from submissions per day have leveled out to a far more readable 5-15 messages a day. Perhaps because topics of doubt and human sexuality are deeply personal, people seem to most often elect to send me private messages about my writing. That brings me to the purpose of this post.

I want to thank you for writing me.

You see, many of my family members and close friends are "freaked out" about my discussion about doubt, or my unconditional acceptance of gay people. Speaking about these issues has created conflict with people I really love. I'm the kind of person that really doesn't like controversy or conflict, and I'm pathologically opposed to arguments. It really weighs on me to write things I know will burden someone else. Even now, writing a book, I am constantly filled with self doubt and wonder if it would just be best to be silent.

And in those moments I get a message from you. You the person who has gone to church your whole life, and are in despair because you are attracted to people of your own gender. So many times, you have never told anyone your secret, but you message me because something I wrote gave you hope and you wanted to tell me.

I can't tell you how much that means to me. It keeps me going, and it provides purpose to my life. You have no idea, and I can't put into words how profound my gratitude is. My wife can tell you that your messages often make me weep.

Or you, the person who loves church, prayer and religious life but can't believe in the idea of God any more. You who title a message AT LEAST/EVEN IF before recounting the story they brought you out of belief and how those little axioms are helping you to approach God and find healing again. It was one such powerful message that compelled me to write this post. I sat at my desk and cried because the story of this person's life was so powerful.

Thank you for writing me.  All of you.

It makes me very sad that you write more messages than I can respond to. I wish I had more hours in my day, because I really could be happy doing nothing more than replying to your messages.

So while my blog is quieter while I write a book about all this stuff, you aren't. You keep sharing, writing and in doing so you keep me going.

Thank you.