I write this blog today in response to the words of a friend that I spoke with yesterday. The man basically was trying to make a statement to me that one expects a higher standard of behavior of those who ultimately are claiming to be people that attend church regularly.
The reason the man said this to me was to call out my actions. I blew a fuse recently over an injustice my anger is ultimately warranted as I have been told. There are things that are not right that make people mad. However, sometimes there are times when things are way too much for anyone.
My reason for writing this is because going to church is not about being some holy rolling pious person for me.
In this lies the problem with the way religion has been presented to the world. Many people assume that all church going folk are there singing in the choir being all saintly. That is in no way me. The reason I subscribe to making this effort is simply because there are often things I hear during sermons that help me survive and make sense of things.
A lot of people have the wrong impression of the Bible and what it says because it has been used to solidify hate in our culture.
This is not done by people with credibility as ministers. The people that do this are like bad teachers that don’t teach their class anything.
A few years ago I began going to seminary. At that time I was in a state of being ready for a life change.
During that time I looked at everything and based on the situation I ended up taking a leave of absence. I decided that I was yet to be done with my prior life endeavor.
Also maybe there was still more I needed to learn how to deal with in my life.
Being compassionate toward children I can do, I can have compassion for the poor because I have been poor, I can be understanding to the disabled I’ve been disabled.
My weakness lies in having compassion for those in leadership positions that don’t appear to be properly accountable.
I know there are these people in the church chain of command structure.
I don’t have the capacity to deal with something that is truly unjust that should be accounted for and fixed properly but always gets swept under the rug and covered up.
I have tried to learn to be a tuned out person to issues of injustice. I have tried to learn to develop objectivity.
As a person that was attending a United Methodist Church seminary which does have an element to its religious doctrine that involves going to a general conference where issues affecting the church were debated I knew I would have to attend one of these conferences if I ever became church leadership.
I recalled hearing my mother return home from deacons meetings from the church she worked at with stories of frustrations dealing with explaining to a bunch of old men the details associated with running a church weekday education program. These men were ignorant about the needs of children and had no idea how much it cost to maintain that program. She would sacrifice much of her salary to help the program just to not deal with trying to get something passed in the budget that the kindergarten needed.
I would have just after awhile cussed them all out and said “listen you damn tightwad mfs come off this damn money so these kids learn to read and ain’t peeing every where when they go to public school” Not mom she was a Saint! 30 years she made it in that situation and the last 12 she had cancer!
How do I follow that??
I have had a lot to think about this year as I have made efforts to fix an issue that does need fixing.
During this time especially after I had the conversation with my friend is that if I ever finish seminary there is no way I could ever be a pious leader in a church.
I could not work for a place where prefect people attended. Simply because I am not perfect. The things is no one else is either and this is the myth that people struggle with when they see church.
It is stated that God uses people where they are at. I am supposed to be delivering a message of hope to a dark world. I have tried my best to act in a hopeful fashion in the face of many things recently.
Being dignified is not easy all the time. How does one be a dignified lady once they have worked in a concrete factory or jumped out of airplanes in the Army??
I keep racing my boat and I wonder if this experience is something that is meant to condition me for my next phase in life.
I will take it this way. I also contemplate the concept that I am supposed to carry a light to others even in the strangest of places. I know I still need work on this. Saints are few and far between.
I felt bad that my friend got the wrong impression that I was some sort of saint that had fallen off some sort of spiritual wagon. I guess maybe I should be flattered that someone would expect a higher standard of me this is really a great form of respect.
All I can really claim to be is a reformed sinner like everyone else. This is no reflection on God or any church in fact these things exist to keep people like me sane and productive in the world.
This is my faith and this is really all I have in the end. Especially when all the things in the world that are supposed to work out don’t.