Monday, July 18, 2016

ABSENCE makes my heart grow fonder...

Sunday best
My parents were rather devout people.
Hence every Sunday we spent most
of the day at church. Mother taught
Sunday School so we had to be there
bright and early. Dad was a deacon
therefore he also often had duties to
attend to. Post the 11 a.m. service we
adjourned to a proper Sunday dinner.
Often that was roast beef, chicken, or
ham which had been waiting in the
oven during our absence. After a nap
we returned for youth group and the
evening service. It was a long day.
Home away from home
Our initial life experiences tend to form
a lifetime of patterns. As a young parent
I continued to attend church regularly.
However my faith grew and shifted over
the years. During my lifetime I've been
an Episcopalian, Baptist, Presbyterian,
and attended one of those mega modern
churches with a food court. However
invariably I've spent most of my Sunday
mornings in a pew. And somehow that
ritual made me feel safe and sound. Thus
church was a refuge from the tempest of
reality. A haven. Home sweet home...
The ultimate hook up
When I met Frank he was in the midst
of his own spiritual journey. Therefore
each Sunday we attended mass at the
local Catholic church and services at
the Kriya Yoga temple. Both uplifted
in different ways. However I found
the temple dynamic a tad too close to
fundamentalism for my comfort. Soon
I came to love the Catholic church for
it's ritual, incense, beauty, and music.
Hence every Sunday for almost twenty
years it was there that I found God as
I reconnected with myself and others.
Out and about
Then suddenly, the very foundation of
my faith was attacked by a young man
of God. Expulsion from any place can
be traumatic. Yet unlike being asked to
leave the London Ritz due to denim -
being told you are innately sinful cuts
one to the core. In reaction to clerical
abuse, I immediately went "home" to
the local Episcopal church. And there
I found love, acceptance, blessings, the
peace the passeth all understanding.
Well, at least until that same Catholic
priest ruined Frank's mother's funeral.
A place in the sun
While in the midst of deep mourning,
being confronted by a rabid wolf in the
lamb of God's clothing was the last
straw. Once again we were strangers
in a very familiar place. Said crisis
shook me to my deepest core. Causing
me to ask myself a plethora of questions.
And fortunately, my God was ready to
answer each and every one of them...
anywhere... any time. For the first time
in my life I realized that my faith wasn't
reliant on anybody but myself. God is
with me no matter the place nor time.
Return to sender
For whatever reason from then on I couldn't
return to church. Somehow it just didn't feel
right. Thus I've stayed away since. But I'll
be honest and admit that I miss the people,
rituals, atmosphere, music, and inspiration.
However for now I need a break. A time of
healing. A period of reconciliation. And
I know that once I've worked through said
barrier to my frequency of attendance, I'll
be back. You see my parents continue to
influence me to this day. Meaning that this
lost lamb will return to the fold in my own
time. God be with you till we meet again.