Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My first question about the Presbyterian Church

Setting: Presbyterian church in Spring, TX.
Inner climate: Incredibly dispassionate about life in general, but holding on to the excitement of going away to college in another state.
Outer climate: hot and sunny.
Forecast for change: nill.

I had the honor to attend my first Presbyterian worship service in the summer before my freshman year in high school. At the time I closely associated myself with atheism, maybe a whitewash of pantheism, but mostly ignorant and disobedient to God. In fact, just five years before I had a very long conversation with God and told him that women are superior than men. He’s undoubtedly full of it if he thinks he could just get along with being perfect and holy while the rest of us had to work, pay bills, stay up late, fight for our rights--Just exactly who God thought God was resonated in the opening sentence to my argument.

And God didn’t really answer me back so I kept going. What was the point of being on this Earth as imperfect people if we are surrounded by imperfect unloving people. Just where did God think God was while the rest of us were sold and murdered by our neighbors for greed, power, and money.

Again silence. I grew angrier and just about had it with God. How dare he not honor my existence by answering some simple questions about eternity with his vast knowledge. I was in no mood to put up with that kind of attitude. I progressed into my closing argument: You know what God. You sit there and watch me. I’m going to take care of all the people that hurt. I’m going to be there for all the people that experience loneliness. I’m going to grow to understand people so that I could be understood. I’m not going to let anyone else get sold or murdered. And I’m most definitely never going to talk to you ever again.

I was thirteen. Clearly, I knew all the answers to the world.

But the summer after high school, I had the most wonderful opportunity to learn about Christianity in a home setting. A family opened up their home to me and let me into their lives so that I could nurture and take care of their four children. I received my first bible I actually looked into, which I left at home. Because it’s more than a bible, it’s a treasure. And not only did I have this wonderful opportunity to learn; but I blew it. Well, because there was a nill forecast of change.

My one and only question during that summer was: Why does the cross have a circle around it?

I’m aware at how enlightening the question is. I can’t tell you what answer I received. Also, I’m not going to run around looking for the answer at the moment. But that question felt so important to me. Through my previous knowledge of popular culture it felt like I was an imperfect unloving person sitting in an imperfect loving church and that cross was a bullseye pointing me out. That’s the one. The one that can’t give of herself because she can’t love herself. How untrue it was, if anything it was a bullseye pointing the way in. The target on the cross should have been the focus of my question.

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