Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Ruins It For Me

Oh Lord, as if I don't have enough religious confusion already. This has been quite a week. Warning: I am a seeker of spiritual stuff---I almost said, of spiritual sh**, but, if you don't know me, you would think that is oxymoronic. For me, it's not. Maybe off-color, but not out-of-the-spiritual park for me. So anyway, I was visiting a group of people I have known for quite a long time. One woman, I'll call Cynthia, has been in quite a downward funk for many months. She's decided that she basically does not like people at all and hates her nursing job. But, here's the kicker: She announced that she has been called to the ministry. Get out of nursing...but go into the ministry. (Big question: What is the zip code for a place called "The Ministry"? I mean, how wide is this world?)
Oh, great. Just perfect. One more person to mess us all up. Loves Jesus---hates his people. I mean, how can anybody say all of that junque about their lives with one straight face? My son, Cole, has reminded me many a time about what Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Squirm. Shift feet. Look down.
I have had several readers call me or email me this week about how much I talk about God in my blogs. It is off-putting to some, not understandable to others, and has no meaning or place to grab-hold-to for still others. But their questions and responses have made me think. That's a good thing for me. And, I really appreciate open dialogue. And here is where it leads me and leaves me.
Religion has divided my family. There is a separation among us. That breaks my heart. In fact, religion has divided many a family, many a country and much of our world. Talk about something being oxymoronic. God is love.... but I really hate you for not believing. Well, I don't exactly hate you, but you can't come to my house or sit at my table and my very own children will not go to school with yours because we will have our own...ahem....religious school. How many walls can be built in that last paragraph alone? Way too many. Far too many. Walls, exclusions, separations, judgements, we're in and you're out. We're right. You're wrong. We have everlasting everything, but you burn....yikes...good luck with that.
Is that the way it's supposed to be? Tell me.
God is love. God is grace---a gift. God is that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. I know that I will catch much he** for this posting today. It's ok. I am seeking, sojourning, searching, open, willing, wanting, longing.
But, whatever God separates us from one another----no thank you. Not even close. That will not do for me. It just doesn't fit. The very people who espouse loving their Lord, are so often the ones with the longest list of people on this earth who will not fit in---are not allowed to belong.
My son, Taylor, my precious, little pure, non-agenda-ed man-child, keeps me about two feet above the worldly fray all the time. Almost nothing in his world sets down and clamps smoothly and snugly into the traps and trappings of what the rest of you guys get to do/have to do. So, what is often left for me, is to look inward---to look to what I have come to call God. I know that word sends shivers down some of your spines and slams down the connecting draw-bridge for others. And part of where so much confusion comes in for me (does it for you?) is when we see things like that sign that reads, "Don't make me come down there." Down where? Well, heck, where were you just a minute ago, God? Down? Up? Under? What about---always within? Always with? Beside? Between? On top of? In the midst of? Surrounded by? Within and without?
Do we live our outward life in semantics too? I mean, can we argue with how our outward/daily/real lives are interpreted--and what they mean? (That was a big 'ole mouthful of a question.) The evidence of how we live our outward lives---how we treat not only ourselves but how we treat one another, isn't that right up there with the biggest, most important, like numero uno commandent: Love one another?
Well, here's my big, fat spiritual question for the day: How do so many of us get so far off base? Me too. I get so far off base that I can't even find home base.
But, here's what I know...and believe me, my upbringing did its best to strangle it out me.....God ain't coming down here.
We don't have to make him.
God is here.
Touch your hands.
Now touch your heart.
Welcome Home.