The Refugee At The Gate

I was raised in the Presbyterian Church USA. I got over it. God made sure of that.

I remember Sunday School and learning the Golden rule. I knew all the books of the bible in the correct order by the time I was 6 and had read the bible itself from cover to cover twice...before I was 8.

I enjoyed that book. I think my father regretted having me read it. I asked questions about it all the time. Like, how, exactly did God make the universe and everything in it in 7 days? If Adam was made of dirt, wouldn't a rainstorm cause him to wash away? How did Noah get elephants and lions to get along on the Ark? Did Daniel really have to sit in the ring with lions?

and so forth and so on....

The Sunday School teachers apparently didn't like having me in class. I refused to simply say, amen at the appropriate moment.

I needed to know why. I needed to understand. I needed for someone to explain it all to me.

I was more patient than most people concerning this matter. I lived my life in a patient way and took the example of what it meant to be a good Christian to heart. I didn't disrespect my parents, normally. I tried to behave in school. I showed up every Sunday morning for all the festivities, and even volunteered to help with stuff. I was a good Christian. God would reward me.

Yet, I still had questions. It hadn't become so much, why things were the way they were in the bible, as much as, who decided we should even acknowledge the things you say are in the bible, yet aren't able to explain to me? Yes, I beleive Jesus, the Christ is my Lord and Savior, but what, EXACTLY does that mean? Shouldn't I fully understand what I am pledging myself to?

The radical met the peacemaker one cold January night in 1985. He knew his bible, yet, never questioned why. It was ok. I didn't want to know why anymore; I just wanted it to be comfortable. Yet, it never became comfortable. There continued to be this nagging, this tugging, this.... you know you wanna know, don't ya? kinda feeling in my spirit.

God was trying to tell me the old negro spiritual goes...

I filled my moments with bible study and discussion, and the ocassional, shit stirring, just to keep my skills up. I raised our children to be good Christians, with a firm foundation in basic Christian beliefs... love your neighbor, respect your elders, pray and be patient. Yet, I wasn't "close" enough to God....

It is said, that when you are ready for the lesson, the teacher will be provided for you. God had been watching me, waiting for me to get over my distractions and my dramas, and get to a place, spiritually, where I was ready to be taught what He had to teach me. He sent that person to me in 2001.

The very first question blew me away. Why do you even acknowledge God?

Why do you even acknowledge God?
I had to actually think about it for a few minutes. I didn't want to give the party line on the matter, I wanted to consider my reasoning.

Hell, I don't know why I acknowledge God.
Then stop acknowledging him.
Stop acknowledging him. He only wants those to come to him freely, knowing why they come to him, to be in His presence.

So, I stopped acknowledging God. Oddly enough, when I did this, I couldn't keep my creator off my mind. I found myself seeing Him...everywhere.... hearing Him, in all who spoke...I smelled Him, touched Him, sensed Him, inhaled Him....


Before I let go of God, I believed in God, yet, I didn't have faith he was there. When I let go of God and stopped acknowledging Him, there he was, right in front of me, forcing me to acknowledge him, in me, around me, above me, below me: all from one question.

My teacher lead me through a self examination that make me acutely aware that I loved God and all He had created. I had, for years, struggled with who I thought I was supposed to be; having listened to all the noise around me, the carnal, self promotion that had resulted in me being miserable and utterly, spiritually alone. Yet, now, I knew who I was, I understand my purpose, I formulated a plan, I set my goals, and I've been floating along, unafraid and fully aware at all times of who I work for.

None of this would have happened if I had remained in the organized church. I know it wouldn't have. One Sunday morning, after months of infighting and nonsense that neither my husband or I could take anymore, he, an elder in the church, and on that particular Sunday, the person making announcements... stood up before our "family" and told them we were gone and we wouldn't be back. He said, we needed to find our way out of the darkness that had become our daily existences... that we, as a couple, as a family unit, had become aware of a light in our lives...yet, this light disappeared when in the company of the church.

That was 5 years ago. Everyday is an expression of how blessed and honored we are to live as children of God, doing his will as taught to us by Jesus, the Christ, our brother....

I find myself, daily, speaking God's words to others in a manner that meets them at THEIR point of need, not mine, for I no longer have needs, nor wants. God has me in his bosom and I am so very content, so very full, so very happy. He has given me a task, which I complete gleefully (yet, sometimes doggedly and tiredly)... for He needs me to simply be me, as he made me to be, to do the thing He put me here to do, the way he KNEW I would do it...

Even these words, though I type them, though I consider them, though they are mine and speak for me, are in actuality, HIS... for he needed for me to say these things for someone else to see, and consider.

I was raised in the Presbyterian Church USA. I got over it. God made sure of that.