I have this friend who was once my enemy in regards to politics in religion. I still do not believe her beliefs surrounding same-sex relationships are legitimate in any way. Although she leans more “right” than “left”, she has a magnificent heart and always says that she loves me, and for once I believe someone like her. Some people who are very religious don’t know how to love someone with opposing beliefs as them, but she does. She asks about my husband and wants Christianity to so badly to build bridges with those they’ve hurt. She once lived what she would call “a gay lifestyle” and knows how awful Christians can be towards the LGBT2Q community.
I know she probably wishes that I find my way to “Jesus” again but she doesn’t constantly “bible thump” our friendship, even though she may occasional share a bible verse. In a world where we are so against our oppositions, I too would love for people the build bridges with each other. This "Easter" weekend I even went so far as to support her when she asked me to go to a church she recently started attending. She probably wishes that I felt some sort of “Jesus presence” during that church service, but it simply is not so.
It has been about 5 years since I outgrew Christianity and recognized that I still had a Divine presence in my life which I had even before my distorted journey through Evangelical churches. As the pastor spoke, it seemed to me that all of these Christians were in some sort of dream state. There were two baptisms that day and as they told their testimonies, I realized just how much I had grown since leaving the church. The simplicity of their journeys and lack of spiritual life experiences, showed me these are generally people who want so badly to feel “God” that they truly start to believe it. I definitely remember being in those shoes and I certainly don’t mind because of that. The pastor also started with a prayer which was judgmental towards the wonderful social aspects of our Liberal government, stating that they are moving away from “Jesus” and that they wish Justin Trudeau would feel “God’s presence” to change his heart. In the same prayer he ironically said how wrong it was to judge people, even though he judged our Prime Minister stating that he doesn’t have “God” in his heart. They could have been saying the same thing about me in fact.
A couple of years ago, my blood would have been boiling because of what I witnessed, but I’ve since come to accept that people will believe what they want and that they have the right to believe what they want. All of these people are just journeying through life like I once was, and I guess I can accept that. If I fought with the pastor afterwards like I used to in other churches, it wouldn’t make any difference anyway because to them I am a “lost soul” with no credibility. I’m actually okay with that, because as I look back, all their beliefs are to me are merely spiritual distortions of a much more mysterious Divinity which I am journeying with. I don’t even necessarily wish that they end up where I am at, because although their beliefs have many social aspects which have no merit in today’s world, I remember how comforting their dream state is, that nothing else matters and “God” can get you through anything. If it’s a crutch someone needs, then I suppose I’m generally okay with it as the new anti-gay movement although still anti, is less violent and more about gently building bridges of love. I'm not totally okay with it, but what can I really do? Love them I guess...
My friend bought me lunch afterwards and she didn’t ask me what I thought about the church service, maybe because I let out a small laugh in the middle of the long prayer the pastor spoke about Justin Trudeau. She knows me, she likely knows what I was thinking. She also recognized I was a bit tired from sitting through all of that. I didn’t stand or sing, nor did I even really participate at all. I sat and observed and I think that’s really all that she expected me to do as she was busy and hadn’t gotten a chance to see me lately because of her busy schedule. The best thing I took from this, is that I have a great friend who happens to genuinely care for me, even though our views are so different. I also found something to write about since my “writer’s block” started due to my illustrator’s suicide. I know that I will never find my way back into Christianity ever again because I’ve matured too much and gained too much wisdom surrounding the subject to go back now. I just hope that Christians know that although I may judge their very core beliefs at times, I still lovingly understand and wish they would try to lovingly understand me. I have some hope for them because of my friend.