For me, Holy Week (HW), used to be special. Special because I used to be holy. So holy. Too holy. Well, at least I thought I was, and then you realize that everyone in the world is in the same boat. We all have a need for grace, mercy and love that stretches far beyond human comprehension. I used to have all the knowledge, I thought. I used to have an answer for everything, but I didn’t. I used to be someone, and then I found out that I wasn’t anybody. This is not a self-deprecating, self loathing article. This is a “oh my goodness, how could I have seen things that way?” article. When you go from thinking you and the circle you’re in and the church (and the ones they associate with) have the answer for everything, you’re in big trouble. So, I actually don’t know where this piece is going, but let’s just see where I end up. I am not a religious expert and I commend those who have taken the journey to acquire such knowledge. Years ago I had no respect for those with a background or degree in theology. Who and the hell did I think I was? Let me clarify. I thought the only thing that mattered was the holy spirit, the holy ghost. Let me take it further. If I had tongues, and the gifts of the spirit, faith at my fingertips, why go to a Seminary? Well in my years of pondering and wondering about God and life, I realized that I was an idiot. I have such a new perspective on life and humans and God. The environment I used to be in and also created for myself was so damaging. How can one associate being a theologian with not knowing God or being as close to God as me? How stupid of me. I am so thankful that I can see how silly all of this was and how much more I need God or want to know him-starting over is wonderful. I’ll talk about starting over a little further in the article.
Last night when I was on the way home, I noticed some young people walking across the street in front of me. To the left was a Catholic church and I just assumed that they came from a service because it’s holy week. I thought it was pretty cool that it was in walking distance for them, I think. I love how the young people of this generation have questions. They don’t just go for anything, and are no-nonsense in so many ways. They have a different type of fight in them and aren’t as quick to submit to stupid rules, especially religious ones. It’s hard for me to put into words everything I’m feeling and I hope in time I’m able to continue to write and journal my journey until I figure it out. If I can figure it out. That’s what’s so different about me now. I don’t have to figure it out. It’s okay to wonder and not have all the knowledge in the world. It’s not my responsibility to know that much anyway.
The air feels different during HW. Like, I guess it’s a combination of things. Spring has sprung, the sun is out, people are coming out of their clothes, and students have had or will have spring break. It’s literally a new season in so many ways. It’s Good Friday (GF) today and I would love to know what families are doing for the holiday. Could be fasting. Could be a feast. What is going on in an average or Orthodox Jewish home right at this very moment? How do Atheists feel right now? Are there any Easter productions happening around the country in churches, or even off-Broadway? I see this week as one of contemplation and wonder. People have questions sometimes. Humans crave love and no matter what your friend or coworker says about being independent, they don’t want to be alone. Besides, being by ourselves for too long causes us to wither away and lose strength. We are not islands! If I ever needed you and you and you too, it’s right now!
Concerning starting over. I’m not totally sure what this means. Or, it may mean lots of things. I want to grow my circle of relationships. Why don’t I know any Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Episcopalians? Like, why should anyone miss out on knowing people across denominations and organizations? Across cultures, races and ethnic backgrounds. Who am I to act like I have the key to it all when this universe is so big. [Sidebar- Oh my goodness, I remember when I refused to use the term Easter and instead made sure I said “Resurrection Day” Ugh, yuck yuck yuck, vomit, ugh]. Who has scraped the surface of living? Of God? I haven’t been to church but once in the last year, and before that it had been a few years. I can’t even see myself going to church, or at least not on a regular basis in the near future. There are some things I miss and some things I deplore. I miss serving, because giving your time and energy to something bigger than you is such a rush. It says you’re willing to open yourself up to caring for someone else or a group of kids or someone on the street. What I will never tolerate again is control and manipulation. The person on the platform does not run my life. Preach all you want, inspire the world, just leave me alone. Know your place is the advice I would give to someone who aspires to stand in front of people to tout the wonderful things of God. Challenge me to serve without asking me to fund your lifestyle. To hell with a new jet. All of my years of shriveling up into a ball of lowly unquestioning submissiveness took a toll on me. It was all my fault and I would never blame anyone, but local churches do need some work. Church leaders are not God and nowhere near. They need to be held accountable and taken to task like any other leader. Good leaders surround themselves with people who disagree with them. Honestly, things will never change in that regard. When I left the mega-church (nothing against large churches) I was a part of, it gave me a chance to see the world differently. I had a chance to reflect on how I had lived my life the past 15 years. Distance from that world was the best thing to ever happen to me. Instead of a close-knit circle of fake church friendships where we always used the word “brother/sister” and “fellowship,” I got back to reality, my reality. I could go on and on about the tiniest of things that just make me cringe as I talk about my “saved” life. I feel as though I have been starting over for the past five years, and starting over for me will continue as long as I need it to. I need lots of work, lots of inner band aids for my heart.
So, writing this is about venting and pouring out my emotions like this for the first time. Only my close friends and family know of my life of piety and how I lacked basic love skills. Rules ruled and almost ruined my life. This is also a way to keep an open diary about any spiritual transformation (this sounds way too deep) I have. I also consider this kind of like a part one. I feel there is so much more to say. I’ll end this by saying I’m looking forward to the joy in the air over this weekend. Feels like December almost. I want to hear about the meals cooked, the family gatherings at grandmas house, and I want to see some of the most bright and eclectic suits ever! Will I be at church on Sunday? Probably not. I think I may have church stored away in a private section of my heart though. Until next time, next rhyme, see ya.