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3/9 - Growing Up

. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

I grew up thinking that being Christian was all about being a 'good

person,' never getting angry, never finding fault, never taking

anything personally. When I did feel less than charitable I felt

terribly guilty about it. Somehow being Christian meant being

untouchable, above the world rather than part of it. Lent became the

perfect time to beat myself up for not being good enough. In High

School I knew that I put Jesus upon the cross with my sin, but

starting graduate school I was sick and tired of the whole thing,

wanting Jesus to just get down off my cross and let me take what's

coming. Every bit of suffering that he did for me felt stupid, and I

wanted to meet him face-to-face to punch him in the gut for doing such

a stupid thing. Once I learned it was alright to cuss in prayer I took

to it with renewed energy and let him have it. Then I felt guilty

about getting angry at God for my inability to be perfect when so many

others were dying - I figured I should have been getting mad about

injustice, hunger and poverty and abuse and all of the -isms and

phobias that tear the world apart for so many people.

When I get stuck on working at how I can be a better Christian, I end

up in funks like this.

It is when I get turned on to finding God active in the world around

me - in people, music, sunshine, birds, Catholic Workers houses and

Lutheran World Relief - when I take my mind off myself and turn back

to the wonder and beauty of this God who lives and walks among us...

then the new life all around shines so brightly and in so many

surprising ways I can hardly contain my joy. It is like being in love,

when nothing else matters but staring into the eyes of the Beloved.

And God is that Beloved.

 

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth! [Psalm 8]

Submitted by Angela Nelson