This week I traveled to my lovely home province of Manitoba for a wedding….a Pastor marrying a Youth Group (re: Church) Leadership person, teacher or perhaps coordinator? We’re talking a double dose of holy here. Quotes from the reception include the parents of one of the newly wedding stating, “We are so glad our daughter is marrying a kind, gentle and godly man….we are proud of you are a pastor’s wife.”
I later sort of bounced this whole marrying a Pastor business off a friend and decided that ‘pastor’s wife’ would be the sort of Christian equivalent to the First Lady….the Melania to his Trump?
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a church or had a solid dose of evangelical Christianity complete with the songs, the “I am at awe at his holy name, worship him.” set to a sort of 3 chord guitar riff that hints of country music. It’s a lot, I was raised on a steady diet of evangelical hellfire and guilt combined with a constant call to ‘give in’ and accept the Lord and release all my anxiety and fear. God would take care of it all but if you screwed up he would be ANGRY and you would have to REPENT or burn. The message in my mind was, keep it on the straight and narrow or risk burning for an eternity….but you can never quite know if you are burning or not…so it’s good to keep a healthy level of anxiety and purge any potentially bad things as soon as you recognize them.
Considering my sort of blog theme is addiction and escape, the question that really bounced into my mind during this event was, “Does Christianity create more pain than it takes away?” (in this plane of existence….suffering to avoid Hell doesn’t count) and also, “How many people are emotionally damaged to the point of mental illness by the message of Christ?”
Those questions really suck. I’m sitting in this church watching these people celebrate this marriage, God….swaying back and forth singing songs and getting all emotional about the holiness and magic. I just don’t feel it! I want to feel it but I don’t feel awe at his Holy name. I don’t feel awe at any name really except perhaps, “Peter Mansbridge” and also “After reading for a couple of years about the “Universal Intelligence,” and that there is a force which provides that which you ask for and supports you if only you trust it…..well….that sounds an AWFUL lot like prayer but without the hell part. I think…
Still, Alcoholics Anonymous relies, to this day, on spirituality and a ‘greater force’ to which you must surrender because humans alone do not have the power to resist. Surrender to something beyond you to find serenity and be saved from yourself. I think I really need to go back and read the Bible again now that I’ve read a whole lot of other stuff and see if there’s some take homes. The annoying thing is I know my family will always ask me every time if I’ve converted yet (or accepted yet).
So really, I’m just complaining. This whole post is just complaining. Lol.
All I know is that I feel awe when I’m swimming in the Whitemouth River surrounded by purple martins blasting over the water 12 inches from my head snatching bugs out of the air. I feel at awe when a Monarch butterfly flutters past in storm warning level winds on it’s way to get some pollen or something. There is the awe and glory right there and I’ll burn for it if I have to.