I Thought That I Was a Good Christian.....

turns out, I just had a stick stuck up my ass.

I was raised in the Church.  My religious experiences ranges from Southern Baptist to Nazarene to Assembly of God.  

Funny story, well maybe not so funny.    We went to the First Baptist Church one Sunday and was sitting there waiting for the service to start. We had been attending that Church for several years.    A woman comes up and tells Daddy that we are sitting in *her* pew and would we please move.  She had sat in *her* pew for years and would like to sit there that Sunday. Daddy got up and told her she could certainly have her pew back and escorted us all out the door.  We never went back to the Baptist Church in Clarendon Texas again.

I have been baptized, GA'ed, anointed, taught, VBSed, placed with the singles (all HAIL...Leper Leper), listen to people talk in tongues and been slain in the spirit.  Yes siree bob I have been.  That was an experience that I was not expecting.  Kind of like taking a really refreshing nap.  I am really kind of an equal opportunity religious experience person.

Another funny story....when I started back to college, Cade was a baby.  I got him into daycare with this nice Christian family.  He worked and she stayed at home and watched several kids.  From day one, Cade cried every day that I took him.  She told me he cried all day long. On Wednesday of the following week, she told me that they had prayed about it and that Cade could not go back to stay there with them starting immediately.  I was at a loss.  They prayed about it and got an answer but I didn't?  There was another person with a day care in town, her name was Beth.  She told me that he could go there.  Funny thing is, he never ever cried.  Nanny Beth was old time Assembly of God.  She and the kids prayed over everything.  I was totally cool with that.  One day, Cade begin to pray *hummm del la tedoa humda humda  Yahweh. blakta fewa humda*  LOL Nanny Beth had been praying in tongues all that time and I was not aware of it.

Wow....did I chase a rabbit or what?

The point I was trying to make is I was raised in good churches with good people who, for the most part, were doing the very best that they could.   You go to church when the doors are open, always wear a dress and look presentable to the Lord, tithe your 10%, take kool aide and homemade cookies to VBS, support Lottie Moon Missions, listen to a male preacher with a sweet little wife that runs the missions program and use your bulletin as a bookmark.   I was raised in churches.....

WHERE EVERYONE WAS LIKE ME.

I had a picture of Jesus on my bedroom wall.  My grandmother gave it to me when I was little bitty.  It was a fair skinned, smooth brown haired, doe brown eyed Jesus.  I got the sanitized version of Jesus....edited for American audiences.  

I did what I had been taught to do.  I thought all *Christians* were supposed to be like me.  And, if you weren't then....you were wrong.  I bought into that.  I liked that package.  Since God was my co-pilot, I knew everything. That was the BUT NOW I SEE PART.  If that was true, then I did not have to do anything because I was on the winning team.  GGGGOOOOOO Jesus!  

I do not remember being given a stick when I got my Bible with my name printed in gold on the front.

Over the last few years, I have grown apart from organized religion.  It has been a long time since I have attended Church.  I miss it at times.  I miss when we used to have Sunday School that David taught because I learned something.  He made us work for it and did not spoon feed us.  He pushed us to be thinkers and doers.

Lately, I have been disgusted by some of my fellow *believers*.  I am sick and tired of all of the hatred that is going on by those that say they follow Jesus.   Why in the world would anyone want to be like us?  We pick apart silly issues and throw words around like sin and choice when the stories are not even ours to tell.  We no longer have love or compassion.  I wonder if we ever really did.  We walk around with our noses in the air because, let's face it, we think we are better than *spits* them.  With our noses up that high, we just no longer smell the stink that we are wearing.

We claim to love our God and then point fingers and sneer at our brothers and sisters.  Let me tell you this....no matter who you pray to or don't pray to...we ARE all related.  Some have a lot of crazy aunts in the attic but, we are all in this together.   None of us will get out of this alive.  

Yet, we pick pick pick at scabs.  We throw things up on facebook to show that we are *right* because, if it is on the internet then it must be true.  I believe that we have actually become more dangerous and deadly to our cause than the westboro baptist church.

We claim that we are being persecuted.  We aren't.   Persecuted is being denied equal rights.  Persecuted is being told you cannot go into the bathroom that you identify with.  Persecuted is being afraid to tell people who and what you are because of what you will be labeled.  Persecuted is walls, labels, denial, lions and tigers and bears...oh my.

We, as Christians, do not even begin to know the meaning of  persecution unless it is us doing it to other people.

We are afraid of anything that is not the same as us.

I once was blind.  Blind because I thought anyone who did not live or think the way I did was wrong. I tore pages out of the bible and fashioned a nice little mask to wear over my eyes.  Blind.

It has taken a whole lot of people who ARE NOT LIKE ME to get that stick dislodged.  Who would have ever thought that removing a stick would have a direct result on me being able to see?  

I am one of the lucky ones.  I now have so many friends who are not like me at all.  Friends that have taught me how to not be that mindy anymore.  People that have taught me that different is GOOD.  We all have something to bring to the table.  

I once was lost....but now I am found. 
Was blind....but now....now I am finally beginning to be able to see....just a tiny bit.



Comments

  1. SO. MUCH.THIS.

    I love your imagery. Fashioning masks out of Bible pages - brilliant. And your observations are spot on. I agree with you. And I'm so glad to have grown along the way too. Not done growing, of course, but it's progress.

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  2. AMEN!!!! Testify!!! you are one of the best Christians I know.

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  3. I find that if one can see after removing the stick from one's ass, then most likely the stick was in one's eye because one had one's head also up one's ass. You are wonderful and stick free. Sweet Cuddly Little Baby Jesus loves you for taking up for the hurting. I do too.

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  4. Anonymous8:17 AM

    That'll preach, Sister. �� LVC

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  5. Amen. And if you ever want a pulpit, I'll let you borrow mine.

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  6. Yeah, baby! Love this.

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  7. This is very insightful, Mindy. May we always have people who aren't like us, to keep our eyes open to love.

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  8. As one of "those others" I so appreciate your awakening.

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  9. Amen, sister. Well said. Even if you made me cry a little. (Though I did giggle at the "homemade" cookies for VBS. Lord forgive me, I am a homemade cookie snob).

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  10. Preach. I mean, PREACH!!!

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  11. This. So much this. We have been on the same journey and it's really hard trying to meld our old church friends who don't understand into my current belief system.

    Life is better sans stick.

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  12. Nicole. That's a good tshirt. Life is better without the stick.

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  13. Anonymous6:13 PM

    Stick removed, eyes open, new level of life achieved. I hurt so long cause of that stick and that town "20 yrs behind the times and forever in the bubble"... the weight of the non-truths no longer weigh on me from that "Baptist Church"... I will never regret what I learned, in that small town, it opened my eyes even more once I left... thank you for showing me that people can change and if only the individual could be heard over the crowd, the world would be better! NAMASTE AND BLESSED BE!

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  14. Preach it sister. <3

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  15. Powerful. Simply powerful. You wrote what I've thought so many times. As reading this I almost shouted, "Preach on!" 😊

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  16. Love this bit of history and the conviction behind it. If a whole bunch of us could reevaluate and regroup, it would likely be quite a powerful force. It could change the world.

    I nominate you to lead us with this sermonette.

    Thanks for sharing the truth, girl. Don't stop. <3

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  17. Love this! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. I questioned my Catholic upbringing as a kid and still do. I remember being told we had to pray for others who are not Catholic, basically because they are wrong, we are right. I stopped going to church but still pray. I strongly believe your actions in daily life far outweigh how much time you spend in a pew in terms of importance and being a good person.

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  19. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Love it! Would also like a t-shirt "life is better without the stick" Thanks for sharing. CT

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