"I made a promise to myself that I would not consider enjoyment a sin. I take a pleasure in inquiring into things. I've never been content to pass a stone without looking under it. And it is a black disappointment to me that I can never see the far side of the moon."
Let me start by saying I hope someday when I am at death's door I will discover there is a god. I also hope I will find god to be far bigger, far more caring, and far more understanding then we often give god credit for in this world.
But I’m not a Christian anymore.
On some level I’m not sure I ever was. I went to church, Sunday school, and youth group at times, but my heart was never in it. I always sensed god and spirituality more in the outdoors--among mountains and beaches and green grass.
I can’t say the same about monuments built to our religion, sanctuaries where trauma and pain are covered over like a casket in the ground, and certainly not among broken theology.
As some of you know, in grad school I studied Christian theology as part of my counseling-psychology degree. I learned new words, theologies built on the hope of liberation, and an understanding of god that led me to question all I’d ever learned.
It changed me. In spite of what my Sitty wishes (she no doubt worries for my immortal soul) I am not, nor am I likely to ever be again, a Christian.
Here are a few of the reasons why:
The biggest change, however, came when I realized how much I love people. It happened during my time as an intern at Recovery Cafe in Seattle. I spent that year working with the most downtrodden--the addicts and murderers, abusers and abused, and those classified as “insane”.
I fell in love with those people. I came to feel at home among those our world seems to despise. I became, in my own way, one of them. That’s when I realized love was worth it just for the sake of love. Caring for others was good whether there is a god with some glorious holy land or not.
My grandfather used to tell me heaven was loving others. That it wasn't some far off place of perfection, but right here on earth among us. I thought he was crazy. I don't think so anymore.
It's not religion, not Christianity, and not a book we need. It's only love that will save us. For today and for always.