Chapter 1

The Vacuum

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Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)

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I want to describe a void. How can I do that without privileging its inverse as a point of reference? For example, it would be misleading to cast my parents as the homeschooling, in tongues-speaking, radical Christian stock villains, even if the details might seem to fit. The problem with these sorts of tropes is that the characters' wrongness is given form by their weirdness. Normalcy triumphs.

And if there were things that felt impossible, which of them should be chalked up to a lack of parental modeling? A parent can't encompass everything their child needs to see. Perhaps the problem was never the limitations of my parents' per se, but rather the way in which our minds were cloistered by the focus of their convictions. Growing up, I already knew that "God" was the answer to every question before I knew what any of the questions were.

It works until it doesn't—until the questions become too incomprehensible, and "God" feels like a non-sequitur. A chasm forms between question and answer, and shame floods in to fill the vacuum.

Remember, you can open that black link in a new private window. When you are done, you can return here and continue to Chapter 2.

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