The Deaths and Resurrections of Deconstruction

can grow can't change cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

Cartoon Description: A pastor says to a woman he’s counseling, “Yes you’re allowed to grow. No you’re not allowed to change.”


Years ago when I was meditating on dying to self, I was vexed by the question, “But if I crucify my flesh, who is the ‘I’ who crucifies, who is the ‘I’ who is crucified, and who is the ‘I’ that remains?”

Can’t answer that question.

The pastor in this cartoon knows if we truly grow we will change. The only way he can maintain control is if he allows the illusion of growth but prevents change that he doesn’t like.

The woman wants to grow but knows this requires change.

She’s afraid of what this means.
She’s at least used to who she is.
And she has no idea who she could become.

Perhaps “God” would wrestle with the same question:
“How do I empty myself to become human while still retaining my self?”

Can’t answer that. 

We can only live this question. 

I’m not the same person I was forty years ago. Twenty years ago. Ten years ago. One year ago. 

But I’m still me. 

Like Jesus in the stories: they say when he rose from the dead he was unrecognizable but they still knew him.

True transformation is like this. It’s not tweaking, rearranging or augmenting. It’s a complete overhaul. A metamorphosis. 


You know this. 
You know a kind of death and you know a kind of life.
You know what it’s like to experience enormous loss and suffer personal grief because of the spiritual death you had to undergo.
But you also know the new level of life you experience because you did it.

You die. 
But behold you live.

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