Somedays I just want to write. Not that I have anything profound to say necessarily. I just get this weird desire to write. Flannery O’Connor once said that some days a writer can’t tell how they are truly feeling until they read their emotions written out on paper. Maybe this is what that is.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately. The past year has been pretty rough. My hope and my prayer is that my writings provide an honest take on that pain. Is that weird? I actually hope that my poems, songs, and blog posts reflect the pain I’ve felt. What good is writing if you can’t be vulnerable and real? What good is thinking even if you’re not 100% honest with yourself.
The past year has been one giant battle of heartache, tough decisions, judgement, and theological discernment. It’s been exciting, it’s been liberating, it’s been painful. During those times, I could feel my passions begin to snap. So I started asking questions. What do I believe? What’s real? What’s not?
I have a hard time calling myself a “Christian” because of all the pain Christians have caused in my own life. My faith in God is stronger than ever, even though I’ve been hurt so badly by people that call themselves Jesus lovers. When I began to ask myself why I believe the things I believe, I grew farther from religion, and I grew closer to Jesus. The price of this decision costed me a lot more than I thought it would, but that’s another conversation for another time.
When people hear that I’m a “Christian” they automatically put me in a box—automatically assuming that I fit the mold of someone who is offended by profanity, when the truth is, I really don’t give a shit (see what I did there?). They assume that I’m against marriage equality, not knowing that it’s one of the things I’m most passionate about. They assume that I am okay with non-rehabilitational sentencing such as the death penalty, when the reality is I’m 150% against the death penalty, and am beyond pained when God’s people are sentenced to death, despite their actions.
I don’t fit the Christian mold. I just don’t. It’s too tight of a box for me. I get claustrophobic. I’m reminded of Levi The Poet’s poem, “The Bride”. He talks about all the hate and exclusion that the church endorses.
We dive deep in the hebrew text. We search out ways to prove sinners to be sinners. Don’t get me wrong, I think that studying the bible is a great thing, but how dare you turn my love story into a sword? I’m offended, and it’s not okay.
I no longer feel the need to be divine. I no longer feel the need to be religious. Human I was born, and human I will die. God, use me. Help me to be what you’ve created me to be. Out of the reck I rise, Lord. Human after all. I need you. Amen.
And religion, It’s been real, but I think this is the end of the road for us.
I’ve met someone else. His name is Jesus.
So may the Lord bless you and keep you, as He has called you His own. May His presence be ever clear to you on this day, and may He plant in you a seed, that will give root to change.