It wasn't so much the people that I felt particular frustration towards. People are people, no matter what organization you enter there is bound to be disfunction. No for me, when I left the church it was more like a true vehemency toward God Himself. Truly I was pissed at Him for, what in mind looked to be chaos that was created for the sake of His enjoyment. I had many qualms with the great being who speaks of bringing heaven to earth while at the same time produces earthquakes or brains that develop nuclear weaponry. Please insert your typical comments or quandaries here, I've probably had those as well. However here I am, writing once again speaking about the topic of a God that I now believe in, and dare I say it, love.
Roll your eyes at me if you must. I completely understand. A few years ago I would have done the same. However I think subconsciencely I've always believed. I remember a evening in particular, where I had drank my weight, a hefty sum at the time, in coors light and tequila shots. While sitting in a circle of friends on their lawn I found myself crying because I was trying to defend a God that I wanted desperately to ignore. This is the awkward relationship I continued to have with, in my humble opinion, the creator of the universe, for around ten years, maybe longer.
I can't tell you that it has been an instant transformation either. It wasn't like I woke up one morning saying "wow, I feel born again". No it was a slow and steady accent towards a sort of knowing that I can't truly explain. I just, well seemed to find God everywhere when I wasn't intending to look for Him.
I used to live in Los Angeles. Well, I lived there for a couple of summers, give or take a few months. I'd love to tell you that whole whirl wind fairytale of a story sometime, but for now I'll narrow our focus on a street corner.
The sun is setting, it's summertime. The city is beginning to slow down for a few hours before they start all over again in the morning. The temperature is beginning to drop a few degrees and as the air begins to cool I can finally get a break from the humidity of the afternoon. Sitting by my side, a woman, she has a plate of food in her hand. We're sitting behind bleachers for a show we're preparing to open. She's homeless, I've grown deeply attached to her over the few weeks that I've been working with her. We sit behind the bleachers because she's embarrassed to accept the food that I have brought her. As we sit there I don't say much. I just like being near her. There is something in her manner that grounds me. I also greatly admire her singing voice, as I have been an amateur singer for many years. And as we sit in silence while she eats her barbecue chicken I tell her that I want to sing a song with her sometime. She being the opportunist that she is, sets her plate down and says that this is as good of place as any. We discuss for a few moments about which song to sing. Neither of us know the other's song suggestions. But finally, we decide, much to my own chagrin to sing Amazing Grace. As we do a stillness settles over me like I've never known. A peace that well, to quote the 'good book', "passes all understanding" and we just sing and tears fall from both our cheeks. My explanation seems dim in comparison to a "grace that saves a wretch like me" but still, I'll swear that it was a real as any other thing I've experienced.
I do not know all the answers but I'm trying much harder to listen to the still small voice of God as he continues to reach out to all humanity no matter the circumstances.