Monday, August 22, 2011

Less Lines, More Love

I in no way shape or form write to offend others. This is simply my opinion and sharing my explanations of why I’ve learned to view life in a new light. It’s been about 6 months since I lost a dear friend in a tragic, crazy unexplained accident. I can honestly say I’ve thought about things I’ve never considered and viewed life/religion/habits/etc. through new eyes. It’s been a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone but one I feel everyone needs to experience.

Through this journey I’ve thought about religion, God, etc. I know there are umpteens of people who have lost someone close to them and definitely had to face the “why’s”. Why would God do this? Does God even exist? If He is so powerful than how could He let this happen? And on and on. I’ve asked myself those questions and after hours of thinking I’ve found what I doubt is religion.

There are numerous religions; Christianity being the most popular in the area of the world where I live. I grew up in a very God-Christian oriented household - on both my Mom’s side and my Dad’s. Sunday was an all day event in both families. Sundays almost always consisted of church, big meals, family time and sometimes more church. We were never afraid to voice our opinions or our feelings of the love we felt towards God, etc and I have an extremely strong faith in the existence of God from my upbringing and life experiences.

Before I was really forced to ask myself complicated questions regarding my faith I had a very black and white way of thinking about religion. Religion didn’t exist. Christianity was the only religion in my mind. Other beliefs, whether a person were Hindu, Agonistic, Atheist, Buddhist, etc. didn’t exist to me. I was very naïve and ignorant mostly.

I was having a conversation with someone very close to me a couple nights ago. We conversed about so many topics within this realm. We were discussing my latest post about what I’d written about our wedding not being in a church. This is what I said in my previous post:

I’m not connected to a church. I’m connected to God. I do not have to be in a man-made building to show my love and appreciation for my Lord and savior. Why not celebrate our union outdoors where we reside on the land that was crafted by God and to a person I call home?

This is where some people forget to stop and understand where another person is coming from. A church doesn’t make me a believer. My relationship with God and my faith does. When someone hasn’t been seen in church for ages doesn’t mean they’re backsliding or that they aren’t as “dedicated” as you are. I know for me personally I get more out of conversing with other believers or even having my faith questioned. I feel I get more out of breaking a mental sweat on why I believe what I do and how.

Do you understand what I’m saying? I feel as though I talk to God more on my drive home from work. I feel as though I see glimpses of God every time I watch the sun set. I know He subsists when I look at Matt and I feel blessed enough that He could so graciously put such a loving, gentle soul in my path.  My families are so tightly woven and have been through so much I can feel his presence whenever we’re all together. I get more personally from readings on my own, conversing with believers and non-believers, from not being afraid to talk about how some things don’t make sense.

For instance why is wearing a dress to church rather than jeans and a t-shirt better than the other? Does dressing up get you more out of sermon than the blue-jeaned person or is it just letting others “think” you are more committed? If someone wants to wear their pajamas, they should be welcomed without judgement because a church is the best place to be for non-judgement right?

What about communion? Why are non-Catholics not able to receive communion? Holy Communion is only for those of the Catholic faith?  We all believe in the same God – what’s the difference between you and me? And confession? Why confess my sins to another sinner? I can confess them to God and it’s the exact same thing. All these denominations Christians have are man-made. Jesus pushed for unity.

I have a couple very close friends that aren’t believers. What I find completely odd is that they are the most non-judgmental people that I know! They are welcoming no matter how much money you have, your wardrobe, your background, etc. Isn’t that sort of a crazy-sad contradiction? It’s truly sad to me my non-believer friends are more welcoming/less judgmental.

In my conversations with them I’ve found that the pushier a Christian is – the more black and white they are on gay rights, abortion, etc. the more they are LESS likely to believe. Sometimes I think if Jesus were to come back right now being a Christian would be the last thing He’d want to be. He'd be frightened by how bad of a reflection of His love we've showed.  

Sometimes I wish the world really was like the movie Shallow Hal. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie it’s basically about this spell that had been cast on this guy that made every woman look only as gorgeous as they really were as a person. He fell in love with someone “hideous” to others but to him, she was the most gorgeous thing on the planet. Wouldn’t this be fun if the world was like this? The world didn’t judge others by the penny in their pocket or the clothes on their back. We’d all be equal – equal - equal. Jeez-louise. Someone get me a tiara and a sash, I want world peace too.

This is the fork in the road red-tag labeled religion during my route here on Earth. In confronting this I’ve learned more about my faith and myself as a believer than I think I ever could listening to someone sermonize. What I want most is for people to question why they believe the things they do and why they do the things the church practices. Is it because a human being made it that way or because God did? Man unknowingly tends to stray from it’s key purpose due to opinion. Remember that.

Instead of saying we're Christian why don't we let our actions reflect our faith? We're all human , of course,  and we'll make mistakes but if we'd all lessen our judgment and open our eyes and ears to the troubles, heartaches, views of others I think we'd have a tiny bit better world - more understanding at least.  Why don't we put religion differences aside and strive for acceptance - gay, straight, happy, sad, fat, thin, black, white, etc. Lets work towards less judgement and more love. Less divided religion/denomination "lines" and more faith. I just don't know if I have a religion anymore - All I'm sure of is I'm a believer. 
                                                                                                         (not like the Shrek song - hehe)


  1. Amen, sista! That is how I feel totally too..

  2. <3 this really made me think.. And it's something I have tried to express but never really could find the words.. You said it perfectly -- Krista