Real Life

Remembering Rachel Held Evans

Christian author Rachel Held Evans died this morning.Before reading her books, I had given up on ever being accepted by other Christians.

I’d bent myself to fit a set of ever-changing standards with no success.

I struggled to make friends and the ones I had objected to “sinful” parts of my personality.

My faith flickered whenever I confronted other Christians’ practiced obliviousness to social issues.

I was told my anger came from a rebellious spirit.

Rachel’s writing gave me hope. She described exactly the shame and frustration I felt after leaving my Seattle church.

She attacked the ridiculousness of gender roles with a passion that kept me questioning arbitrary standards.

She welcomed queer Christians and made justice her platform.

I still have faith because Rachel created space for people like me.

The words “She will be missed” fail to account for the vast hole her death creates.

I lost an ally in a community saturated with straight male voices.

Her books took on theology, depression, and disappointment without supplying platitudes or retreading oft-quoted verses for the millionth unsatisfying time.

I saw new life in Rachel’s work. I glimpsed her vision for the future and wanted to join the good work.

We’ve lost the light her perspective offered.

Others may share her vision, but they cannot replace her.

Rachel leaves behind her husband Dan, her two children, a handful of enemies, and a trillion grateful and grieving friends.

Rachel, we miss you.

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