Tuesday, October 23, 2007


When I was in high school I had a friend who was an Egyptian Orthodox Christian. One day between classes I noticed that she had a fuzzy diamond shaped tattoo on the inside of her right wrist. When I asked her about it, she let me take a closer look. It was a small, symmetrical cross that she received at her confirmation. The tattoo marked her forever as a Christian, a symbol of faith and solidarity.

A few years later I met a man named Ina while I was traveling in Egypt. He was small shop owner who had been run out of town and out of business multiple times because he was Christian. He showed me his small cross tattoo with a mix of pride and fear. The mark on his wrist gave him his identity—one which he could not deny.

Because of these two individuals and our shared spiritual commitment, I went down to the tattoo parlor to receive a mark of my own. Although less ceremonious than a confirmation, sitting in that sterile room I made a physical commitment that represents the spiritual commitment I had made many years prior.

In recent years, my thoughts on faith and religion have become increasingly complex. I underwent a dark period of deconstruction, questioning and rejecting many ideas from my childhood. I prayed and cried and stopped praying and stopped crying. Things that had once been essential and beloved were no longer attractive. But all the while, I was marked by that little cross.

Now it is time for me to reconstruct what has been torn down. This will not be simple and it may not be pretty, but it is necessary. I am establishing this blog in order to chronicle my intellectual and spiritual journey in the years to come. Please understand that these musings will be grossly unrefined and perpetually unfinished. You may think me a sinner, you may think me a heretic, but please remember that I strive to be a Christian.


  1. Mat,

    I have been reading some of your blogs and just wanted to let you know that I completely get where you are coming from.

    I, too, am a Christian who finds myself feeling like a stranger in the institutionalized church because I can't seem to jump on the bandwagon of any particular theology that is held at specific locations.

    I have been involved in several churches, and have, more or less, formed my own theology in hopes that God will except my feeble, yet sincere, attempt to get to know Him and to live my life with integrity before Him. I often find myself at a place where I wonder if it is really worth it all. And yet, somehow, I sense that God is suggesting to me that it is, even though it is a long and hard road to traverse.

    Keep writing, and if you want to get in touch via e-mail, that would be great.


  2. Chris,

    It's good to hear from you--I didn't know that anyone actually reads my blog. I have to say that it is always comforting to be reassured that I'm not alone. For a long time I tried to fit into the various theological molds at the churches I attended, but somehow it was never right. Hopefully you and I both, God willing, will find God in a theology that makes sense to us. Here's to the journey ahead! [Matt raises glass in a toast]

    Unfortunately, I cannot find a way to contact you by email, so hopefully you will read my reply. If you would like to contact me, I have added my email address to my bio.




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