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Out of the Shadows: Living Authentically as a Christian in Silicon Valley

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

(Below is an excerpt of a blog post published on the "Finding God in Silicon Valley" blog. Read the post in full here.)

About thirty of us sit wide-eyed in the bright conference room, like trick-or-treaters waiting for candy. We are new hires at a Bay Area technology company on Day One of orientation, about to receive our laptops. I’m actually a rehire, a “boomerang,” as we fondly refer to it here: so many of us returning. And I’m particularly eager…and nervous…to satisfy months of curiosity. Would my old company have a place for a new me…and people like me? I slowly open my laptop, log onto our social network, and type a word tentatively into the Search field: “Christian.”

To explain my nervousness, I should note that Christianity in the Bay Area is, in a word, unpopular. There’s a scene from the hit HBO sitcom Silicon Valley where Erlich Bachman says to two engineers pitching a Christian pet-sharing app: “Christianity is borderline illegal in Northern California….owning a pot-bellied pig is frowned upon almost as much as being a Christian.” I laugh heartily when I hear this, laugh with 41 years of empathy. Because until a few months ago, I frowned upon Christianity, too. I equated it with the bigotry of picketers, or the self-righteousness of street-corner agitators.

Until that is, some unexpected events happened in my life this past year, events that shook my very core, my lifetime as a proud agnostic. (Yes, I was that friend in college who loved to debate religion…I had evidence like you wouldn’t believe!) Until things changed. And I was humbled by the miracle of healing in my 10-year-old son, humbled by grace I didn’t deserve. And on the night of January 11, 2017, I bent my knee in an Austin hotel room and, as author C.S. Lewis so powerfully put it, “admitted that God was God.”

But this is not a testimony of the events that led to that most important moment of my life, or even an account of the grace that followed it, though I’m happy to share all of that. (View testimony in video here.)

This post is an account of my experience coming out as a Christian in San Francisco, the third least religious city in the United States....

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