There was a time when the sight of the cross made me want to throw up. That’s how bad it was.
I have long been skeptical about the existence of God, due to the usual questions of allowing all the evil in the world. After all, what God would allow Donald Trump to be US President?
Maybe God has a sense of humor, but at our expense?
Surrounded by a whole batch of family members as self-proclaimed Christians, some of them zealots whose Facebook posts are all, “Yahweh” this and “Yahweh” that, who pretend to be some type of authority on the subject while they steal from you, rob your parents, abuse your disabled sister and smear vicious lies about you all over the internet and among extended family members, well… That is enough to drive anyone far away from whatever their religion is.
I’m the misfit among these church-going, self-righteous evangelicals. I don’t go to church — oh, far from it. If church is host to people like this, I don’t want to be there.
Despite all my doubts and my horror at the activities of those who call themselves Christians, I have always really liked the idea of Jesus, his parables, his lifestyle, and the stories about him. He is, to me, utterly fascinating. But I picture the real guy — an untidy Jesus, tramping around in the wilderness eating figs. What about him was so magnetic that it caused people to leave their homes and follow him around? How could he speak to the masses with no microphone, and still be heard? Didn’t all that wine get him just a little tipsy now and then?
The best thing about him is his gentleness and the way he listened and cared for all people, hookers and little kids, while still having the strength to not abide hypocrites. The stories of his empathy — how he wept at the grief of Lazarus’s sister, telling him he was too late to save his friend, already three days dead. His tantrum in the Temple, throwing the money changers out who were exploiting the sacred ground of his father — I can relate more to that now than I ever have.
So, for those of you who have been raked over the coals by people who think they are Christians, who want to hold this over others and act like they are better than everyone, and their version of religion is the only right one, I had a revelation that I feel compelled to share.
I was watching a TV movie about Jesus and the actor said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father but by me.”
This quote is from John 4:16 and of course we have all heard it a gazillion times. But the word that resonated with me was, “TRUTH.”
I am the way
and the life.
The idea of God as someone who IS the truth — the real truth — gave me much comfort. How can one find God through lies? It seems to me that anyone whose life and values, stories and rants is based on lies, is not going to be right in the eyes of God. People who twist facts to justify their own bad behavior, no matter how much they “Yahweh” out loud, are not honoring themselves or God.
You can Yahweh until you are blue in the face. If you are a liar, you ain’t getting there.
This realization was sent to me at just the right time. Jesus was not placed here to use at our convenience. He is an example of how to live. Tell the truth. Be kind. Treat others as you want to be treated. Live with empathy and care for others. Help when you can. Drink wine. Wash your feet.
The truth is not subjective. Those of us who live by the truth; we are doing just fine. Hang in there. You are not alone.