Emmy Kegler has a complicated relationship with the Bible. As a queer woman who grew up in both conservative Evangelical and progressive Protestant churches, she knows too well how Scripture can be used to wound and exclude. And yet, the stories of Scripture continue to captivate and inspire her–both as a person of faith and as a pastor to a congregation. So she set out to fall in love with the Bible, wrestling with the stories inside, where she met a God who continues to seek us out–appearing again and again as a voice, a presence, and a promise.
Whenever we are pushed to the edges, our voices silenced, or our stories dismissed, God goes out after us–seeking us until we are found again. And God is seeking out those whose voices we too quickly silence and dismiss, too. Because God’s story is a story of welcome and acceptance for everyone–no exceptions.
“Reading One Coin Found was like hearing the Gospel for the first time all over again and remembering just why this story is so glorious. For those who are the lost coin, the prodigal son, or the lost sheep, Emmy is the pastor you deserved all along and just wait, you’re about to learn what it really means to be fully found.” – Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
“I remember that Jesus, the first fruits of those raised from the dead, was not without his scars. They were part of the risen body. They had made him who he was, and proved that he was more than anyone had bargained for. The body of God had been and would always now be marked by the murderous hearts of men who craved power and control. What has been done to us, the lessons and the proof in it, does not fade.
The resurrection does not make us unhurt. It makes us whole.”
– Excerpt: Chapter Nine, “Wide”
“I thought I would not speak of God anymore. But then in me echoed the words of Jeremiah: If I say I will not mention the Lord, or speak any more in God’s name, then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones… I did not speak of the domineering and distant God, who meted out judgments from His throne on high. That God had no goodness for me. But that same word ‘God’ that soured in my mouth in class and mocked me in every paper was the God who met me in the Scriptures, a God I needed and craved. That God, the real God, stood in stark contrast to all the offerings of the religion that devoured the people on the margins of life.”
– Excerpt: Chapter Seven, “Shut Up”
“We too are lost and dusty coins. We have gone unnoticed, rusted from others’ indifference, misspent and misused, and our friends and leaders did not see our neglect. But God, in big and little ways, has picked up a woman’s broom and swept every corner of creation. God, in big and little ways, has tucked up her skirts and flattened herself on the floor, dug through dust bunnies and checked every dress pocket. God has found us, dustier and rustier and without any luster, and held us up to the light to say: No matter how you rolled away or what corner you were dropped in, you are mine.”