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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Freedom from old hurts:

I haven't exactly been shy about the fact that I parted from my last church several years ago. Since it was on such poor terms (at least, on my part), and since recent events have given me pause to reconsider prior stances on my behavior several years ago, I finally worked up the courage to return. You have to remember that this is a church I went to when I was experiencing some spectacularly fucked up times in my life in addition to the usual teen angst bullshit. I won't lie. It was one of the hardest things I've done in a long time, or would be any year but this one, but I managed to make it through the entire service, chat with people I didn't even realize I had been missing for years, and successfully ignore those I've been avoiding for years. While none of the last group will exactly be getting Christmas cards from me, I long ago realized it was all about bullshit, and it's long past time to let it go. So, while it was a very painful experience, it was also a very happy experience and something I will be forever grateful that I did, because in a sense, it felt like I was finally coming home after having run away as an angry, stupid child. I may have left as a child, but I returned as a man, and what was once broken in me feels like it's becoming whole. The old hurts have faded into irrelevance, the old shame is dying, and I finally feel free.

Oh, and I'm reconsidering my longstanding agnosticism/apatheism. For me, Sunday wasn't about the religion, or at least, not all of it was although it had a role. It was about the community, and I'm only sorry that it took me this long. Thirteen years of anger was far too long over something that petty, but no one has ever accused me of being overly forgiving or of not being excessively stubborn. I know it's not my normal fare for this blog, but I just had to share this with someone. Not to sound too preachy, but I think I understand the parable about the prodigal son a lot better now. Oh, but don't worry. I'll be cursing up a storm and raising hell before you know it. :)


Sheryl said...

I'm not a real fan of churches, but I am glad you were able to face your fears and meet up with old friends. That's usually a healthy thing. :-)

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I'm certainly not a fan of anything involving a paid clergy, but that's probably as much how I was raised as what I've learned later from observation. Thankfully, that church doesn't have that particular problem, and no, I won't be getting into specifics as to which one. Still, the community that a church can provide can be invaluable, and if you look at our past as a nation, it was often churches that took the lead in enacting positive social change, perhaps because people of a more progressive mindset tended to congregate in those churches, or perhaps because churches have an innate advantage when it comes to organizing. After all, each church is a form of a self-organizing community, and sometimes, if you're lucky, a family.

Although I abandoned my faith a while back, it still continues to influence my evolution from a conservative to a libertarian. And now I'm reconsidering that abandonment, though I make no promises. In the end, I will follow my conscience.

1138 said...

I have little need and no desire for the houses of man that pretend they are the house of God, in any flavor.

Old home week can be a nostalgic experience in any institution.