I recently stumbled across this experiential description of salvation on Lauren Winner's blog. She credits her friend Lisa Anderson for it. I feel kind of like I'm plagiarizing or something, by cutting and pasting the whole thing here; but I'm doing it nonetheless for convenience. Enjoy!
Salvation happens at five years old. Salvation is better protection against the dark than her Wonder Woman nightlight. Salvation makes her run into the kitchen to tell her mother how her entire body tingles, how everything feels new. Salvation means that God, who is always so near, wants to know about her day.By the way, Lauren Winner is the author of a book called Girl Meets God, which is a memoir of her journey to Christianity and has gotten excellent reviews. I've added it to my amazon wish list in the hopes of someday reading it!
Salvation grows at eight. Salvation is an adventure. Salvation means Prince Caspian and Madeleine L’Engle and Grandpa Jack and possibly kitty—but we can’t know for sure—salvation means that some of these, our favorite people, are part of one big family. Salvation results in late-night slumber party talk about a big God-who-so-loves-the-world. Salvation means crayon renderings of heaven: of flowers that are more colorful than lemon yellow and atomic tangerine combined, of sea foam green oceans that you could swim in all day if you wanted to.
Salvation is forgotten at fourteen when she reads Kerouac and Salinger. Salvation becomes uncomfortable. Salvation means she shouldn’t sneak out tonight with Kendra because it would require lying. Salvation means obedience and submission (and patriarchy, too, once she learns that word). Salvation means defending things she doesn’t understand to people she really likes, people she wants to like her.
Salvation is despised at nineteen. Salvation involves sexual purity and the GOP. Salvation means limiting her to writing nice things, listening to nice things, saying nice things. Salvation means admitting a personal connection to Historical Things We Don’t Want to Mention, like the Crusades. Salvation is a stranger.
Salvation is remembered at twenty-five. Salvation may mean regeneration of her broken parts, or maybe just the ability to forgive Joshua for his being such an amazing asshole. Salvation is everywhere: in early morning Vodka-infused conversations, on page 43 of White Teeth, in Zion canyon. Salvation is tattooed in Hebrew on her lower back, where only certain people will ever see it. Salvation might be for her. Salvation might not.
Salvation hovers at twenty-eight. Salvation means serving First Presbyterian Church in spite of its monochromatic makeup, in spite of its big screen televisions. Salvation sometimes means trying so very hard to be good to the boyfriend-who-so-loves-her. Salvation means thinking differently about human rights and architecture and unemployment. Salvation means somehow being the Imago Dei, God’s very own image.
Salvation is working all the time.