Updated: Jun 23, 2020
During my time of struggle, I searched for answers. I had so many questions: why am I the one who is suffering? Why is God allowing this to happen to me?
And on. And on. And on.
Until I got tired of asking questions that had no quick answers.
When I was researching a name for this blog, I flipped the pages of my Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I circled the words I liked, and made a list. “The Elimination Game” was proving harder than I thought. As I reviewed the definitions of the words that had stuck out to me, I kept crossing out the words that didn’t seem as meaningful as the others, and finally, Pastiche was the last word that remained.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Pastiche is “a literary, artistic, musical, or architectural work that imitates the style of previous work.”
The more I thought about this word and its meaning, the more I realized how contrary it is to my God; yet how similar it is to the human lifestyle.
If I learned anything at all from my years of private Christian education, countless Sunday school classes, church sermons, and youth group discussions, it is that God has designed each one of us different from the other. Not one person is the same- in appearance, thinking, well-being, genetic makeup, or purpose. Conclusively, God is anything but pastiche. In fact, he is quite the opposite.
On the other hand, the human race proves itself to be purely pastiche. Instead of accepting, adapting, growing and learning from our differences, we put up barricades (walls, if you will). As much as I hate to admit it, Christians are notorious for this: we are traditionalists at heart. We, more than any other people group, are purely based on the literary, artistic, musical, and architectural work that imitates the style of previous work. We wear crosses around our necks, that imitate the one Jesus died on. We print and reprint copies of the Bible. We write our understandings of the Bible, based upon its sayings and how we interpret them. We have written hymns adapted from scriptures. We imitate the people of the Bible and put our full trust into the words of Jesus. We strive to imitate Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we claim to imitate and act like Jesus Christ.
I spent so much time living purely pastiche in religion, that I was forgetting the very man I claimed to serve and trust did not live purely pastiche at all. He was not a pastiche traditionalist. He was a faith-filled revolutionary.
In order to heal and move forward from our afflictions, we need to stop living purely pastiche. We need to grasp onto the faith of the man we claim to know and serve. However, in order to do this we need to recognize what is pastiche. Once we realize what is pastiche in our lives, it is then that we can reflect and learn how to turn that into revolutionary, refreshing, healing faith found in Jesus Christ.
I pray that these words, my life experiences, my struggles and sea-changes bring you closer to a path of healing. I warn that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have a prescription of faith that will heal you instantly. But God does. And I hope that through my words He pulls you closer to Him, and shows you healing.