A minute ago I read a status from a friend on facebook. Now this lady is a very devout Christian, and was making a comment about how upon meeting the local transference healer and saying "Hello", the other person's eyes rolled back in their heads. Following on was lots of happy clapper comments on demons and the spirit of Jesus and the power of God. Judgement.
I did not expect to feel as angry and disappointed in the whole thing as I did.
Closed mind, closed heart.
I was brought up by Wise Woman who was, as she termed herself, a happy clapper. A born-again Christian strong in her beliefs, devout in her devotions, true in her worship. I attended many conferences and meetings (through choice, Mum would say "I am going to this, you want to come?" and sometimes I would, sometimes I wouldn't), many lectures and church services.
Some of them were fantastic, inspiring, wonderfully full of passion... some we sat at the back and watched the obvious charlaton lay hands on people. And as they fell backwards, she and I would giggle and whisper "Damn, he's pushed ANOTHER one over!"
But never, and I mean NEVER did I feel judged for my lack of faith or choices in these places.
And this is what I find hard. My mother was a true Christian. A woman, kind of heart, open of mind. She never lectured, preached or even discussed much of her beliefs with others; and yet she was much loved by so many. I can remember her floating in to my house after one such conference, this one about the healing ministry. A group of my Uni friends were gathered in my lounge room. Mum came in, sat, chatted for a few moments then walked out. My friends all were in awe of how she glowed with some indefinable spirit, shone with joy. They asked me, where had she been to come back so very obviously uplifted? I told them. The jaws dropped - floored by the fact she never preached, lectured nor judged any of them. The term "a true Christian" was muttered under many breaths that day. I sat and smiled. That was exactly what my mother was. The local Jehovah Witnesses loved to drop by her home even though their beliefs differed. They enjoyed nothing more than listening and debating details, revelling in her articulated knowledge. Oh, the arguments they all delighted in, sitting on a sunny day on Wise Woman's verandah. Their hearts broke a little on the day we lost her.
I guess it is no surprise that for me Christianity is about understanding there is so much more in the universe than what we know, being open to ideas, to debate, to learning. THIS is how I was brought up. Not this close-minded "Get thee behind me Satan" bullshit.
As my mother approached the end of her life, she watched on in joy the growth of her oldest grandson. Boy 1 is a very devout Christian, unlike his parents. He also believes in the power of nature. He is an open vessel, he reads runes, practises crystal healing, has an ongoing interest in transference healing, chakras and reiki. His love of God and Jesus is unshakeable, deep, strong.
One religion teacher at the primary school made the mistake of asking who knew about a particular quote from the bible... An hour later he walked out shaking his head muttering to Boy 1's aide... "That child is incredible! He knows and understands more about the Bible and God's work than I do." Grade 4.
Open mind, open heart.
This, for me, is the true definition of Christianity. A love so pure and generous that it does not close the door on the other powers in life. Being a Christian is not about judgement or preaching, it is about belief, strength and love.
I know I will offend some with this post, but to be honest I feel so strongly about this that it was not a choice, it was a compulsion.
It is how my mother brought me up, and how my son expects me to be.
Open mind, open heart.
And I thank God that he gave me two such wonderful human beings to be in my life. And for that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.
Day 3071 - The view from a Playschool window - *What do you see?* Do you recognise these windows? Which was your favourite? The Playschool windows are as identifiable to us older Australians as the ...
22 hours ago