This morning I went to church with one of my old girlfriends from California. I was excited for the same reason I’m always excited to go to church – the thought of going deeper, feeling that sacred sense of oneness and calamity that comes from divine intervention. And I left bummed for the same reason I am always bummed about church
because people are poor representations of Christ.
because Jesus was a healer, a comforter, and an ally
but for some reason,
those stiff pews and pastors sting
of guilt, condemnation and critique.
As I’m sitting there hearing the pastor boast of how Christians monetarily give the most (out of who?where?these facts are not empirically supported by any evidence..) I’m starting to lose interest.
I sit there twirling the purity ring my dad gave me when I was 14, which I’ve yet to take off at 25. Sitting there thinking about the life of sin I lead. How let down God must be with my premarital sex, with being unequally yoked with a “nonbeliever”. And I start to feel like shit. And I think about the first question my mother always asks anytime I tell her of who I’m dating,
“is he a Christian?”
and the answer is always no. and the excitement of sharing with her my new love interest is always robbed by that fucking question. start elated, end ashamed.
I tune back into the pastors distant roar. Talking about titles and names, how our identity is not bound in a career but in our relationship to the Father. He says God’s blessings are as ceaseless as waves crashing against the shore. They just keep on coming, washing over us.
I’m twirling the ring, thinking about what this all means. thinking if I should end this relationship because Kyle hasn’t been washed in the blood of Jesus. And how torn I would be to let go of something I love dearly, but know it’s the “Christian” thing to do.
when I get an email notification.
Kyle sent me virtual, forget-me-not flowers with a note that read i love you.
my face lights up, I am overcome with an affection deeper than the sea.
pastor tunes in again, he’s quoting Micah,
“Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”
and at that moment, I took off the ring and the limiting ideology that comes with titles. I slipped it into my bag and vowed not to let my life be dictated by a religion run by men, but rather stay perpetually in connection with God, my higher power, whom I know loves and supports me, and who has blessed me with a good man that adorns me like a gem.
So when I get to those pearly white gates and the angels sing in praise, I will sing with them, knowing that if my biggest sin was being with a nonbeliever, even that too, will be trampled and thrown.
And with that, I will be okay.