This is a difficult blog to write, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately. It’s also taking up a lot of my quality mind rest… we’re talking HOURS in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating.
Contemplating what you may ask?
BUM BUM BUM.
Now that that’s out of the way, I will preface this post with a very subtle assuring message for my dear family and friends.
I BELIEVE IN JESUS.
Whew. I bet you’re all happy to know I’m going to heaven.
Now, let’s get to the hard stuff.
I grew up Pentecostal. I grew up sneaking in our downstairs bathroom with my mom, sister, and a nice pair of kitchen scissors, to do what every normal family does with mother-daughter time... attempt to trim the dead ends off of our hair while still keeping it in a natural “V” shape. I was seven. That’s hard to do with kitchen shears. Maybe that’s why I’m a hair stylist now.
I remember being afraid of wearing pants in public in fear of someone from our church seeing us out. On one occasion, I did run into someone from church. I remember squeezing my legs together as tight as I possible could, and praying that they would think my jeans were a long skirt. I also spoke in tongues, and was often found laid out in the front of the pulpit (via the holy ghost) with the other kids from Sunday School.
Can someone say Jesus Camp?
If this is what believing in Jesus requires, you might have to count me out.
Religion has become a controlling, monitored, gossiping, judgmental way of living, and frankly, that’s not what I think believing in Jesus is all about.
I’ve struggled with religions ever since my mother and father got a divorce, and I was suddenly allowed to start cutting my hair, wearing lip-gloss, and heaven forbid… painting my fingernails. This was a hard change for a nine year old. I would go to my grandparent’s house and hear, “Tessa’s got them girls in shorts again”, and wonder why in the hell my mother would not warn me about this inevitable persecution before hand. Geez. THE SHORTS AREN’T WORTH IT!
Quick shout out to my mom…
One Thanksgiving, I didn’t want to go to my grandparent’s house, because I’d forgotten to pack a skirt to change into, and I didn’t want to upset my grandfather. My mother, being the smart woman she is, said to me…
“Catherine, do you want to wear skirts everyday?”
“No.” “Should I want to?”
“You should do whatever feels right in your heart, and when you make that decision, you don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it. Not even family.”
Cut to present.
Once the strange phase of getting my first real haircut at nine years old was over, I started wondering why all of these churchgoers still wanted to save me. I didn’t need saving. I was going to church. I just wasn’t going to their church.
Religion, man. It’s a crazy thing.
Religion tends to have a way of making everyone in their specific group think that their way is the right way. Maybe that is just us being humans. We are of course.. always right. There are HUNDREDS of different religions out there. What makes ONE right and another wrong?
Just take a second, roll your computer chair away from the screen, gaze into the abyss, and think….
What is my normal?
My own personal normal, at seven years old, was being a Pentecostal. It wasn’t a bad normal. It didn’t seem strange. I didn’t know all of the kids at my school weren’t doing the same things at church. It was my normal.
Now, think about someone in China, India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and anywhere else in the world.
What’s their normal? Buddha? Reincarnation? Muhammad? Allah? Head covers?
Have a mental picture yet?
Great, but we’ve got miles to go… That was just in THIS time era.
Now, think about the Greeks circa 1675 BCE.
Agamenmon sacrificed his OWN DAUGHTER to Zeus for favorable winds.
Think of Iceland 1000 years ago. People there believed in Thor.
That was their normal. Jesus wasn’t even a thought in their mind, much less, a sub religion of Jesus (i.e.: Baptist, Pentecost, Catholic, or Methodists).
Or, keep it real simple and just think about little Suri Cruise.
Her normal is Scientology.
L. Ron Hubbard, the man who started scientology, was once a science fiction writer who said,
“You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.”
Normal is relative, people. And so is religion.
Let's start trying to understand each other's background, struggles, and beliefs instead of creating more adversities between one another? What do you say?
Changing the subject to something even more debatable... :)
I voted for the first time in my life today. Talk about empowering! I should have been doing this years ago.