I am the granddaughter of a Pastor. I grew up in church hanging on my Oupa Jose’s hip while he preaches. Apparently I was cute and everything. I went to Sunday school because it was expected not because I enjoyed it. My father’s entire family sang, played various instruments and as such it was a family affair. I couldn’t find a love for an organ however. Sorry. My father died and there my relationship with church ended. I say church because I don’t think I experienced a real God in those circumstances except fire and brimstone (may be where Liam’s fascination with fire comes from?). You believe or die.
As a teenager I lived with my Mom. She occasionally attended a Sunday morning services and I went along because it meant a lovely lunch afterwards at Bruma when it was still the place to be. My sister however was very big on Jesus and met her first husband when she was eleven… singing, preaching and spreading the gospel. There were times I was inside a club and my sister and her then boyfriend, also named Jose who would be preaching outside. Serious! (Today, after a hard life with many, many fuckwit-ish behavior on her part she is once again big of Jesus and no doubt prays for me often.)
My first husband and I did attend church, bible study weekly and I did try to be proper. I never got the feeling my then husband was all that much into church, but it meant I did stuff and left him alone. LOL My boys births were both celebrated with ‘blessing services’ as I didn’t believe in baptism believing they should choose for themselves whom to follow when they were grown. We/I attended many church related activities and I often bumped heads because I see very few things as black and white.
By the time I met my second husband I was seriously big of church, Jesus – praying, bible studies, singing in the church band… the works… and so was he. I was desperate for forgiveness for my divorce and worked hard at studying the scripture and finally reached a place of peace… where I felt I made a mistake and God said, off you go, now don’t do it again you silly child. Victoria also had a ‘blessing’ and it was truly one of the most beautiful services ever as Oupa Alex anointed her head with oil and lifted her little body above the congregation. All her great-grandparents were there…. all her grandparents. Awesome. Spiritually – life was good and as a family we did many church related everything. We were involved in any way imaginable. We met nice people and I walked closely with God. I prayed allot, I read allot… I believed… allot.
Then my second divorce happened…. and while scripture assures us once we are in the hand of God he never lets us go again, I let go in a big way. Everything. I couldn’t believe, I couldn’t fathom that this reality was my truth. I moved myself away from organized religion faster than you can say “Amen”. I cut all ties.
Organized religion to me today is a cake and tea gathering with teaching by way of sermon for like-minded individuals. I am not always sure God himself is all that happy with the tea parties or the way His words are interpreted. Carrot cake is not everyone’s favourite and some may want coffee, and not tea.
As for me and my house, we cannot claim to actively serve a living God. I have no doubt that God lives, I have no doubt that God would be more than willing to extend His hand to mine…. but I am in no way ready for Christian tea parties where my tattoos are frowned upon, my son receiving Ritalin is an act of lack of faith and where me being on marriage number three, truly believing gay marriage is not an issue, is just not all that kosher. See again, no God there – only people and their perceptions – although yes, the Bible does has it’s thoughts.
In my heart, I think God knows me. He knows my limits and my downfalls – I don’t think He likes me all the time but I do believe He loves me (much like I feel about my kids). I think He hopes I return and just maybe sing that opening line, mike in hand again. I don’t think he cares for the worldly assumption of who I am and I believe He knows my heart. He may even have a small smile and shake his head as parents do looking at how I have decorated my body.
I don’t think HOPING that God understand me, guarantees me a place in heaven, but I sure will know a lot of people in hell…….New born Christians believe redemption is only for those that proclaim Jesus as the one Lord and Savior and unless you repent and never screw up again (well, please, at least not in public) – heaven for you.
God knows my confusion. He knows why I turned my back on the man-made church and the Jesus I thought I knew. I hope one day we meet again under different circumstances and one where I don’t feel judged constantly and where forgiveness truly means a clean slate…
I can tell you the closest I have come to God in years is during Jason’s HEBREW prayer for his Mom. See, even a Jew can lead you to Christ. Sorry, that amused me. I stood there and cried… wishing that somebody would “beg” so sincerely for me, that somebody would pray for me in a manner that would have God forgive me my earthly self…. to make it to heaven.
Not that fond of the harp, organ or pan flute but I still know all the words to the worship music I use to sing right up front in the church band, lead singer baby….. and my sons Kevin and Nic play a mean kick ass guitar… We could rock that stairway to heaven. 🙂
As for politics? I just want equality for all… No prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation or food allergy.
See, I’m an uncomplicated soul…..as Kevin would say “How to make a NOT joke!”