When asked….I hesitated. It has never been a good experience for me. But, I care for my dad very much and he needed moral support, so I went to church with him. And odd thing happened to me. I won’t say that I lost my religion. Honestly, I am not a religious person because, I believe, that religion asks people to conform out of fear. Instead of promote love and acceptance, I find the uncomfortable experience of hypocrisy and damnation in the middle of all of the hugging and shaking hands. Perhaps, I am cynical…if so, I am willing to be wrong. But, as I sit there in the middle of the stained glass windows, pretty pews that shine with varnish, sparkling gold assortment of alter accessories, and video screens that flash the words of songs on the board so we don’t have open the hymnal in front of us….I wonder.
Where did the heart of religion go?
Now, let be clear. I completely believe in God without the slightest question, but religion is a man made institution.
- Why it is necessary for a human being to parade to the front of the building to let a pastor wave a hand over him to be forgiven?
- Why it is necessary to fill a building with ornate objects and fashionable decorations knowing that money could feed or house starving children?
- Why is it necessary to create an “us vs. them “mentality?
- Why was it necessary for the pastor to mention the unpardonable sin of homosexuality that is demoralizing our country? (btw…The Marine said he knew at this point I would not go back because I dont think that it is acceptable for anyone to damn a sexual choice. That is a decision made by each individual and on that basis it is apart of their own soul. To misrepresnt your soul to be accepted or hide the truth is the sin.)
As I sat there next to my husband of 19 years (a recovering Catholic) and the nice people in their pretty Sunday clothes walked by to shake my hand in welcome with painted smiles, I wondered how many of them would head for the bathroom to wash their hands or form a mob of salvation around me if they knew that I have an erotica blog. You see, when I tell people about SexyWhispers (and I don’t keep it a secret!), people often approach the question of how can I call myself in tune with God. Of course, to me, this seems to be totally ridiculous because I am fairly sure that God knows about sex and approves.
I have had spiritual experience where I could feel God talking to me (nope…not crazy….I think that God talks to EVERYONE…call it intuition, your little voice, esp…..most people just aren’t listening!). But never have I felt that in a church.
One short story to illustrate for those compelled to humor me:
Last year, I was in Charleston. It is my habit on my birthday to go to church to light a candle and leave a donation for the poor. This time…I walked over 3 miles across Charleston and every church door was locked! On a Friday at 5 pm….church doors….locked? I could not believe. I was so amazed….almost angry. Remember when the job of the church was to give spiritual guidance??
So, The Marine and I walked along together as I fumed. I had my money in my pocket as I stopped for the red light and waited to cross the street. A young girl (she was about 22 years old) behind me was talking to her friend about selling the flowers made out of corn stalks. She said it had been a slow few days for her and she had to skip dinner tonight to pay her rent. The light turned green but I did not cross. I could feel myself pulled back to her. I walked over to her and looked down to where she was sitting on the ground without shoes. “How much for the flowers?” She looked at me, blinked and smiled. “One dollar.” I bent down to where she was sitting…picked one up…handed her a bill. Her smile disappeared as she saw the money. “I am sorry…I can’t change that.” I smile back into her innocent face and said….”I did not ask for change. Just this one flower.” As I stood up to walk away, she grabbed my hand to thank me. She said that she had not eaten in two days and that money was the answer to her prayer. When I turned back to The Marine, still standing at the light, I realize he was almost a half block away. Not sure how I had heard her prayer from so far off, I wander rather incoherently back to the light where he was waiting with a warm smile and open arms. As we stood there focused on the light again, my eyes traveled over to the street marker on the ground. I was standing on CHURCH street.
To this day, that corn stalk flower hangs right here in plain view to remind me that God is found where ever I stand. And, sometimes, we are the instrument and not the plan. But, the reality is that I don’t think that I have lost my religion…I think that religion has lost me. ~~Dee