A Delicate Fade
What do you do when your experience of life doesn't match up with what the church has always taught you it should be? Written in an intense, stream-of-conscious, personal-narrative style, this book records the author's struggle with this question as...
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What do you do when your experience of life doesn't match up with what the church has always taught you it should be? Written in an intense, stream-of-conscious, personal-narrative style, this book records the author's struggle with this question as he tries to sort out how to live between what is and what should be.
A Delicate FadeCopyright 2004 by Benjamin J. DeVriesRequests for information should be addressed to:Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDeVries, Ben, 1979-A delicate fade / Ben DeVries.- 1st ed.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references.ISBN 0-310-25535-X1. Christianity-Miscellanea. I. Title.BR124 .D48 2004230-dc222003026644All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HolyBible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of TyndaleHouse Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189. All rights reserved.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic,mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other-except for brief quotations inprinted reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.Interior design by Beth ShagenePrinted in the United States of America04 05 06 07 08 09 10 /_DC/ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1p r e f a c e .find me a song to singfind me the words and a story I needI could sing what I''ve always known(find me)I think I''m running out of timeand I''m scared to death of what I can''t expressthere''s a word on the tip of my tonguebut it''s already been said, I thinkit''s already been said before. (0.1)it has been difficult to write the past few days. it wasdifficult even before then. the last seven months werethe hardest I''ve ever been through and writing doesn''thelp. it was always the things I couldn''t say that Ineeded to the most.I''ve stared at this page with the poem at the top thatI''ve put through a hundred drafts, and I''m sick of staringat a notebook I can only half-fill with the same words Iused before, except rearranged, as if it would be better ifI could edit myself.sometimes it all seems cleaner and easier to read, andI think someone else might make it into a real book forme. but it''s really never much better than the draftbefore or much different. and I could be enamored withthe ideas of incompletion and imperfection and even tryto write about them and still know that I can never letthem be a part of this.I''ve stopped and started over more times than I canremember, and I think that I like the times between thebest because I feel the most whole then, as if I knowwhat needs to be said, and almost as if I could writemore of it next time. the need to express takes me overlike it did a long time ago when I first knew I had towrite. and I know I could never let this go until it isdone.I felt it again a moment ago, like I did yesterday, when Iremembered something more than words. but it''s never asstrong as the inadequacy I feel every time I put my pendown and turn away (or the hurt I felt last night). I startto write and then catch myself because there''s nothing Icould say right now that comes close to what I imaginedbefore, and what that was I have a terrible timeremembering anyway. but I have to try.I imagine that underneath all of this the need for releasegrows stronger and stronger, like forgetting and stillbeing able to remember. I think that need must live inseparate places, both on the surface and somewhereunderneath where I keep it away from anything thatcould make it better. and if it does this must be why Ialways wrote to begin with.when I was a boy I used to write about dinosaurs andother animals. I colored in black and white photocopiesand drew big words that I took from library books andencyclopedias. sometimes I copied whole paragraphsword for word because that''s all I could manage at thetime, but I wanted them to be good.I didn''t write anymore until I grew up, and then I wroteabout myself because I felt like I had lost it somewherebut at the same time my self was the only thing thatnever went away. I wrote songs to find it again and tofigure out what was wrong with me. I didn''t know howI could hurt so much or why I felt so confused.I used to think it might be too late to write because Icould never make sense of what had ha
A young man wrestles with the gap between the traditions of his faith and his actual experience of life Author Ben DeVries grew up as the son of evangelical missionaries to the Netherlands and graduated from a Christian college. But his experience of life doesn't match up with what he thinks the church is telling him it should be. God seems absent. Truth seems uncertain. He contemplates becoming an atheist, but realizes he'd only be more miserable. In this intense, stream-of-consciousness narrative, DeVries thinks aloud about his struggles and doubts, ones that are a common dilemma for today's Christian postmodern mindset. Although he is grateful for the Christian tradition he has grown up in, he realizes he will never fulfill the expectation of becoming complete or perfect in this lifetime. He concludes that God's apparent absence probably has more to do with his own flawed perception. This honest and engaging personal approach to the problem of pain will resonate with people in their twenties and thirties who find themselves on the fringes of Christianity because their experience doesn't jibe with the evangelical subculture. DeVries doesn't provide easy answers, but does offer reasons for hope. He suggests that perhaps God doesn't shelter us from the rain with his hand; rather while we are getting rained on, God holds us in his hand.
- Contents Preface...9 One: Between...13 Two: Sorrow...23 Three: Beauty...34 Four: What Is...45 Five: And What Could Be...62 Six: Faith...76 Seven: The Simple Life...87 Eight: Healing...98 Nine: Hope...110 Thanks...115 Notes...117