Michelle DeRusha opens up her book Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith with the story of the necklace she stole from a classmate in the third grade. She never wore the necklace for fear of getting caught, but how it tormented her, this sin.
"Regret rushed in almost instantly. The thrilling high of the conquest crashed into gut-wrenching fear. Aware of its weight all day in my pocket, I passed up my usual penny drops on the junglegym at recess for fear the necklace would plunk into the sand as I swung by my knees. Later I dashed to the girls' room and perched on the toilet with the gem balanced on my thigh. I thought seriously about flushing my loot but worried it would plug up the system. Plus, I realized that wouldn't solve the real problem anyway, the whole rotting-in-hell dilemma. A simple flush would not hide my sin from the all-seeing eyes of God."
This first glimpse we get of DeRusha's complicated faith journey is the kind of storytelling we are treated to in Spiritual Misfit. Raised Catholic, the author shares stories of wrestling with guilt and doubt and how this eventually opened a door to a deeper relationship with God. She writes with transparency and humor about some of the feelings we've all had when trying to live out our own faith.
Spiritual Misfit is an important book. It not only addresses the myth of the one-faith-fits-all, it helps us see how doubt and faith can coexist. We leave Michelle's story with the affirmation that God is big enough to handle our questions—even the ones that don't have a clear-cut black-and-white kind of answer.
I laughed out loud and was brought to tears at Derusha's skillful storytelling and her witty way with words. I think you will too. It's a well-crafted manuscript with a message we all need reminded of.
Spiritual Misfit releases today and I'm excited to offer one book for giveaway here! Just leave a comment by Sunday evening (that's Easter night!) for a chance to win and I'll announce the winner in Monday's Playdates with God post.