Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Bedraggled Ragamuffin

Every Thursday Holly Mueller from Reading, Teaching, Learning, creates a place where readers can share their spiritual journeys.  

When Holly tweeted out the theme for this week, my first thought was, "Why did I ever think I could do this?  What was I thinking"  

Then, I started thinking and realized these words are an accurate description of my faith journey.

ragamuffin - a dirty young child wearing torn clothes

bedraggled - looking untidy, wet, and dirty

When I think about my faith journey, I have been out on the streets for some time, lost and wondering where I belong -  just like a ragamuffin.  

Although I am a cradle Catholic, I have been distant from my church for awhile now.  An incident happened that made me begin to have a lack of trust in leadership.  I felt I was lied to, and I have had a hard time trusting again.  

As with most things in life, when you stop doing them, new habits form, especially the habit of not attending church.  I have many connections with people from another church who have tried to bring me into their fold.   But for some reason, I just can't break away from my Catholic roots.

Last week I wrote about my fear of being called a hypocrite.  How can a bedraggled ragamuffin write about a spiritual journey?  Can a dirty young child wearing the torn clothes of a lost faith and living "out in the streets" and away from the church, still have a relationship with God?  I think about this all the time.  

When I tweeted about concerns about the theme, Jaana, from Jaana's Writing Blog, sent me a link of quotes from the book in which Holly referred.  

This one grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go.

“We need a new kind of relationship with the Father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate.” 
― Brennan ManningThe Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Reading this made me think that yes, there is room for a bedraggled ragamuffin who is lost on the streets.  

I can have that relationship with the Father that drives out my fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt.  

I can be a person who is hopeful and joyous, trusting and compassionate.

There is hope for the bedraggled ragamuffin.  

Thank you, Holly for helping me to continue on this journey.


  1. I am Episcopalian and we have a nice home for bedraggled Catholics. Just saying. In fact our current priest was formerly a Catholic priest.
    Nevertheless, I love the honesty and heart in this post. You have trusted us. Thanks for that. I think you're getting a good handle on your worthiness of God's grace.

  2. Oh, Leigh Anne, this is just perfect. And definitely worthy. I'm sorry you struggled with the theme at first. I knew it was a little "out there," but I believe God wants more bedraggled ragamuffins in His fold. If we all felt like experts, ready to write pearls of wisdom all the time, I think He would remind us of what we really are - we are, as Peter said, beggars. And He loves us more for it. Your humbleness and willingness to take risks in this spiritual journey is just wonderful. Thank you for linking up today and being so honest!!!

  3. Jesus came to save the sinner not the saints, right? Holly's posts on Thursdays really make me think about my journey. We are walking together--side by side with Jesus in the middle. This is so true: "I can have that relationship with the Father that drives out my fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt." That is true for me as well! Thanks for writing and sharing!

  4. I love your honesty in your writing!! I can see the struggles and it's amazing to watch you find your way. It can be hard to find your place, but once the search begins, watch out!!! When I started attending my church I was filled with doubt and anxiety and feeling like "I don't belong". I quickly realized that was all coming from inside of me. Becoming vulnerable and going through the struggle will bring you places you've never dreamed! I'm so honored with your honest writing!! Thank you! :) LOVING your posts!!