This Baptism

Profile PhotoBy Shelby Smith

On June 8th I was baptized by my home church, the Wilderness Way Community in Portland, OR. I was asked to reflect on why I was choosing to be baptized.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”—Micah 6:8

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”—Phil 4:13

The Bible and its legacy is full of contradictions and conflicts and also beauty and strength. In 2014, when I came to Wilderness Way I found myself feeling dry and broken. That feeling was an extended phase that continued for some time. I had a relationship with God but Jesus and Christianity was completely off the table. Except the occasional times when I would pick up the Bible, read some passages—and feel disgusted or bored or confused and walk away again. I wrestled with a lot of shoulds, anger and fears. I struggled to do justice, to love kindness and the walk humbly with God. I struggled acutely with all three of these. Continue reading

Like Alchemy

shelbyBy Shelby Smith (right), in Solveig Nilsen-Goodin’s book What is the Way of the Wilderness?  An Introduction to the Wilderness Way Community (2016):

I don’t believe that one should belong to a certain religion or set of beliefs`. I do believe, from years of trial and error, that for me, a life based on seeking God and It’s will for me is a richer, fuller life, that at times feels downright magical and that without it, life is pretty shitty. I am writing my story in hopes that it can help someone.
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