See Me Naked:
Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity.
These are not fables, and they are not compilations. These stories are messy. They do not come together neatly in the end with a moral and a clear sense of direction. Each story has a number of interpretations, and the decisions that each person makes could be debated. One interviewee said to me, “Be sure you tell people that I am still not sure I made the right choices.” That ongoing inner struggle is an important part of each of these stories and of our own. But through stories, we can begin to make sense of where we come from and where we are going. Genevieve, whose story is told in the third section of this book, noted the significance that storytelling, in itself, has had in her own experience. “People who told their stories started getting better,” she said. “The people who kept their stories to themselves didn’t.”
A story, writes Barbara Brown Taylor, “creates a quiet place where one may lay down one’s defenses for awhile. A story does not ask for a decision. Instead, it asks for identification, which is how transformation begins.” That is the hope embedded in this book: that as we cross into the realm of other people’s stories, we might begin our own transformations, we might begin to live more fully and more completely as both spiritual and sexual beings. My hope is that these stories will open up your story and my story, and that telling will change us.