This weekend I inadvertently found myself reflecting on a lot of theology. It was after all the predicted rapture. It has been getting a lot of press still. In case you are new here, that is not something I believed in. As a student of religion I was however rather interested in the group who did believe it. I did a little research. I made jokes like everyone else. Then I saw a man on the news, he had sold everything, he stood in Times Square faithfully preaching the end until 6 o'clock passed. Then he stood there so confused and scared. He mumbled about how he didn't understand why nothing happened and the crowds began to taunt him. I felt genuinely bad for this man. I wished I could be there to usher him away so he could begin to process what did and didn't happen. I am disappointed in my fellow human beings who felt it right to taunt him. Even if he had preached their damnation. Rise above, show compassion. What an awful place to be it has to be like the whole world was pulled out from under you. Now do you move on and reestablish yourself? Do you remain faithful to the new prediction of October 21? I hope somewhere someone is standing by to show compassion to everyone who believed in this Rapture.
In all honesty I could relate to this man I had never met. Not that I believed in something that didn't happen but because we never know for sure in the world of religion who is right. There is no guarantee because a piece of Holy Scripture from any faith says something, that it will happen. I could spend my entire life dedicated to the church, Jesus, God or any number of things just to find out I was wrong all along. That's the thing about faith, it's blind most of the time because there is nothing tangible you can hold onto. I am hesitant to say I know anything for sure, other than maybe Jesus was all about Love. I am pretty sure of that even though there are some versus of scripture that make me second guess myself.
I was clicking around on the web reading news stories. I read one about a girl found kept in a crib turned makeshift cage by her parents. She was found eating her own dry skin flakes because she was hungry. Another child was found dead buried in their yard. There was also a one month old boy in the home. This kind of story broke my heart long before I had a child of my own, now it takes it to a whole new level. There I sat my theology of compassion and love being challenged because I felt such anger that someone would treat their child this way, to deny her the love and basic needs she is entitled to. I wanted to go find that little girl and pick her up and hold her and tell her she is wanted and she is loved. I felt such anger well up I thought of punishments for her obviously evil and self serving parents. I wanted justice on the spot. Then there is theology, I believe that God loves us all despite our screw ups. We are all God's children. Then I just want to swear every word I know how to swear with, because I don't want God to love these children. I want God to snuff them out like a candle. It's a hard reality to live in, one where what you want is not what God wants or does. It's a good thing because at times I am sure I might have been in need of God's wrath. Grace isn't just for me.
All that got me thinking about how other people view God, it seems that more often then not people just assume God agrees with them. They have interpreted the word of God in a way that they know for sure God agrees with them. We are all guilty of this, you and I included. It's just that lately I see this being used to fuel hate all over the world. Especially for people of different faiths or sexual orientations. In my time studying religion I have read a lot of Sacred Texts that aren't my own. They all have this continuous theme of love and peace. That is really confusing, that is why I thought for a long time I couldn't follow Jesus, because I couldn't read the Gospels and go out into the world and spew hate. I thought that is what it meant to follow Jesus.
I forced myself to go to church on Sunday and I am so glad I did. I needed that time to hear of God's love. To hear that the mystery of it all is what makes it beautiful and in my opinion worth it. I needed to take time out to connect with God in the midst of my panic about moving. There in that quiet moment I heard God's call stronger than it's been in a while.
I am so very grateful that I have met and know a loving God whose Grace I cannot understand.
May you be blessed by God's love.