Y'all, 2019 is breaking me. I've been spending more time with my Evangelical, Trump-loving parents this past year or so, because their health has been declining. I thought they might only have a few years left. Well, their health was worse than any of us knew, apparently. Mom died 7 weeks ago, & then Dad died the day before yesterday. I feel like I'm made of lead. All I can do is cry. This isn't fair. I don't know how to wrap up this message but I just have to yell into the darkness right now.
@JosiahRA @winter This is only my second time observing lent. Last year I did Pete Rollins' Atheism for Lent with a church group. This year I'm just going to do something on my own. I'm dealing with some grief so I want to set aside some time each day to do an exercise or meditation specifically focused on grief.
@BLG_Resist ❤️ I feel the same way pretty frequently, and came to the same conclusion. Even if the world is a roiling ocean of evil, we're the ship that will project love and compassion into the future. For me, the point of life is to fight like a lion against hate, malice, and suffering, and to have as much fun as possible doing it.
I still needed space for grief, even while being a happy warrior. I got the advice to set aside a weekly time to light a candle and grieve suffering.
Update: I googled "Is humanity getting better or worse?" and found some encouraging information. I opened up to my husband and a couple of close friends. And I thought about what I will do if the world really is just a cesspool of evil: I will fight for whatever good I can, love others, and find joy in small things. I'm sure my feelings will fluctuate wildly as time goes on but hopefully those actions won't.
Anxiety, "Heresy" and LGBTQ issues
But Total Depravity whispers in the back of my mind: "The heart is deceitful above all things." Shout out to the hideous, shrieking ghost of John Calvin.
With my own personal practice, I can ironically echo Luther "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God."
But can I turn to another and say "Here are my thoughts and beliefs, and here is how I arrived at them. Hopefully, I don't deserve to have a millstone tied around my neck and cast into the sea,"?
I finally watched "Won't You Be My Neighbor" tonight, fully expecting to feel inspired and uplifted. Instead, it left me bordering on despair. Fred Rogers was such a pure soul, and did so many things right, affecting people for good on such a large scale...but it wasn't enough. The hate just seems to get louder & louder, drowning out the good, gentle people of the world. I came away feeling hopeless. Has anyone else had this reaction? What do you do when you feel this way?
I said, well maybe now that she doesn't have our human limitations, she can stand in awe of Jesus AND look down on you and be happy for you. Again, a fleeting glimmer of peace and comfort on his face, then he shook it away with, "No, I think Jesus is too wonderful for her to worry about me." 😭 😭 😭
I have to think Jesus would be horrified at that thought.
Who ever thought the Evangelical/Christian view of heaven was comforting?! (Full disclosure, I did, for most of my life. But not now.) My dad is grieving the loss of my mom, his sweetheart since he was 17. He got a glimmer of joy on his face yesterday at the thought that she was smiling down on us. Then he composed himself, sadly, and said, "Of course I'm sure she's too busy looking at Jesus to think about me." It seemed disrespectful to him that she would think of him instead of Jesus. 😭
Today I'm in my late 40s, married to a wonderful man who didn't grow up in the church but strives to understand what I've been through. My kids are adjusting well. One is an atheist and one prays to some Greek deity that I don't understand, and both are doing just fine. I guess I'm an agnostic, although my faith is being stirred and shaken by the recent death of my mother.
So that's me in a nutshell. I look forward to getting to know all of you! /4
Leaving my parents' independent Pentecostal church, even to just go to the Baptist church down the road, broke my mother's heart. She would call me in tears, worried that I had lost my place in heaven. (She didn't think I was going to hell, but our church taught heaven had "ranks" and we, of course, were headed for the top one.) /2
I've already made my first couple of toots, but it's time for a proper #introduction. I grew up in the church, Christian school, the whole bit. I taught my children the Bible, and didn't really start deconstructing until I was almost 40 and got a divorce. The divorce kind of made me rethink everything. /1
Grief, death, afterlife
My mom died 2 weeks ago. She was the consummate Church Lady, the one who'd call when you missed a couple weeks. Very disappointed in my liberal politics. But she was kind, caring, & did the best she could. In her last days she was fierce--she knew she was dying but she had no fear. None. And it was her faith that made her fearless. Will I ever have that strength when I no longer have the faith? I admire what she had while simultaneously rejecting it. Life is so weird. 😢
Married, mother of 2, exvangelical, trying to learn about love and life, and maybe help some people along the way.
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