At one time, I thought being a part of a church would lead to spiritual growth.
At one time, I thought parishioners cared about the health and well-being of one another.
At one time, I thought attending services would lead to understanding and deeper appreciation of the Holy Scriptures.
I thought wrong.
Just because one is, a Christian does not automatically make them one and then again, my definition on what a Christian should be is just that, my definition. My Christianity or what I believe defines me as one, are based on my own experiences and interactions within the church. No two experiences are similar, nor are scripture interpretations, prayers said, if at all, after communion, or what hat is appropriate for Easter. Christianity is a self-thing not communal as I once thought, which, proved to be wrong as well.
The Ten Commandments are a Christians’ guide to living life, but what one perceives as coveted could be another’s’ striving to attain the American dream. (Although the six room mansion with an indoor pool and marble bathroom is a bit much). If we truly loved one another, we would put forth the love we’d like to receive and not bear false witness with gossiping, lying, and acting incredibly cruel because we can. We would not cheat, murder (squashing an idea before it has roots is murder of the mind kind), or say, “OMG” at the slightest impulse or adulation of whatever.
Christians or parishioners are not the apostles, nor is the preacher, Jesus or God.
At one time, I thought, at least at my church, we, the parishioners were to mimic the apostles in spreading the good word and treating each other with love and kindness, as Jesus taught.
At one time, I thought the priest, preacher, rector or whatever the correct pc title is, were the instruments of God and through Jesus’ life and preaching would lead by example.
I thought wrong.
What I find are parishioners who are mean, afraid and quite frankly, lost. What I find is conflict and abusiveness with the leadership. What I find is a person, me, who once so adored her church, torn with a lack of trust in what is said and done. Well, what is said and not done or what should be said and done or not doing or saying anything at all.
I don’t know if I am the Christian I would like to be. It is hard to tear away the layers and see the truth that maybe in some way I am like those whom I criticize. Worse, is seeing the truth and not knowing what to do with it.
Transitions continue, welcomed or not, bearing good news or showing up the ugly truths.
Instead of participating in this Lenten season, I find quietness, comfort and solace within my Forward Movement, at home with a bag of Frito lays.