*****This post was shared without my permission on several political blogs. As the author, I DO NOT FEEL as though these sources accurately reflect the sentiments expressed in this post. Also, please see the below addendum for clarification on my thoughts****
I went a month without praying. Not on purpose and not because I stopped believing that someone was listening. I stopped praying because my heart got so blocked up and hard that I didn’t even know how to anymore.
How did I get there? I’ve never felt far from God. In all of my life, it’s never been difficult to turn to Jesus when I feel pain, doubt, loss or discomfort. Each time the world licked me with its lashes, I ran to Jesus. But… when the Church punctured me with her pernicious pride I drew into myself and armored my heart with iron.
I watched in horror and disbelief as Christians I love and respect supported a man full of greed, hate, arrogance and prejudice in the name of Jesus Christ. “We won!,” they said. Who won?
I wept bitterly at the photos of refugee children and grew furiously angry when Christians I know thought only of protecting themselves. I became disgusted to the point of physical illness when Christians passed off jokes about sexually assaulting women as “loose lips” and “locker room talk.”
And then there were those who said nothing- an offense more desructive than any other.
I grew hot with rage. Is this the bride of Christ? Are these the people who are supposed to be walking in the footsteps of Jesus? I feel so incredibly distant from that Church. I will run as far as humanly possible from that brand of “Christianity.” If that is what Christianity is about then count. me. out.
And Holy Week comes. For the first time in my 22 years, I identify more closely with the death of Christ than His Resurrection. I feel an absence of Christ in this world. On the evening we remember the crucifiction of Christ, I worship in a room with 100 other people and I wonder if we’re even worshipping the same God.
I feel like I’m greiving the loss of my Jesus. I’m greiving the loss of compassion, selfless love, benevolence, peace, generosity and kindness.
And though I haven’t prayed in a month, I hear His voice, “I AM the Lord. I change not.”
The iron armor falls. My heart pounds furiously with her new freedom. I worship Jesus for who HE is and forget the awful rest of it.
On Easter I weep with hope, because although the Church can feel like a terrible thing, Jesus will always come back to set things right.
I’m turning a new page in my book. I’m setting out to find a community that seeks to be like Jesus. I’m done living out my faith like I’m a member of an army that’s fighting for converts and voting republican every election because “democrat” is a bad word.
Being like Christ should mean that my heart breaks every day for the lost and hurting. It means that I’ll break bread with any type of person and that I’ll fight for justice and for the liberation of the oppressed. All that’s left of my Christian faith is Christ, but I’ll take Him. Every single day.
Addendum: As someone who practices inclusivity, I want to clarify that I do not want to shame anyone for practicing their freedom of voting for whoever they choose. I am very aware that many Christians voted for President Trump with the motive of improving the world, and I can absolutely respect that. In this post, I was aiming at the spirit behind the sorts of evil that I feel Presdient Trump has evoked in many people.
Also, I want to clarify that I ADORE the people of my church. This was written in reference to the chruch at large (That’s why I used the uppercase C). My church has contributed so many wonderful things to my life and made me who I am.