The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
Proverbs 20:24 NLT
I was reading a post by Megan Willome earlier in which she referenced another blogger who had decided to rehash his teen angst poetry. You might have guessed, but I soon followed suite and did the same only to find that I had some truly painful things to uncover. I was questioning extensively in those days too. I needed answers…I needed love…I needed resources…I most definitely needed my space, but I’ll get back to that in just a moment.
I am grateful to say that even as I write this I am preparing to move out. I look behind me and I say not that the grass is not always greener but rather I am thankful for the grass that I have had grass at all during the past seasons. Yes, even for the grass that was a little parched and surrounding by thirsty dirt patches–I at least had grass. That is what I am trying to focus on.
When I say I will be in my own space I mean my own. One of the main reasons I am feeling more relieved than nervous is the fact that I have always yearned for this time when I would take that step into a higher realm of independence. I can only place my firm footing in the basis of maturity and growing character that I have obtained up until this present moment.
When I think about my development many other entities who have been an influence on me will often resurface, the church included. I see the church as both a concept and a universal entity of individuals with a outlying common goal, or so it seems from miles off. When I say “the church” I am quite often referring to the institution because at the institutional level is where I hit a wall, and I cannot go much further beyond the conceptualized entity that is the church, at least not in this season of my life. When I say “church,” however, it can be all-encompassing of a small gathering of mystified, salvation-minded bodies with resonance and unison and hearts set on a common goal, one of which being love. There are no walls there really. I saunter around with those concepts on a daily basis.
I had my poetic–rather poignant and nostalgic–moment when I went on the search for a really awful poem that I had written myself. I came across this, an excerpt from a poem I wrote in middle school, entitled “Love Endures, Anger Subsides”:
Love is not just fluffy clouds
and pinks and reds and hearts.
Love is not a holiday or
a time to eat sweet tarts.
It is not all hugs and kisses
and nice things to meditate.
If your parent says, “Go to bed now!”
You had better not stay up late.
Love is not real if you feel any pain
and that’s what some believe to be true.
Love is blind and you can never tell
when someone really loves you.
As I recall this was an assignment given by the instruction of my dad. He was addressing my anger in regards to my rebellious outbursts and weak self-control. While I am glad to have been given the creative liberty to see the error of my ways, retrospectively, much of what I did on many levels was really a cry for help; and that cry went unheard for the longest time. Fast forward to the much more recent past while I was involved in the church, when I was realizing some of the nurturing that was absent in my youth, a new kind of anger resurfaced. This time I was not told to write a poem but instead I was mandated the cure-all antidotes for all spiritual diseases, much of which was delegated or written or spoken in explicit “Christianese.”
The church was the house I grew up in for a time, and church itself is my mom and dad. I am not feeling too poetic right now although I do have something else I want to write for my “parents”:
Dear mom and dad,
Thank you for always being there. Thank you for patching me up when I was falling apart from the inside out. Thank you for a home. Most of all, thank you for your love. I must say, though, our relationship is changing. I feel like there are some answers to painful yet pressing questions that you are unsure of but have been pretending to know the answers for. I love you too and I will always come to visit you. I am just at the time in my life where I need some space and a wider view beyond your stained glass doors and pews…and yes I am aware that those sentences rhyme a little bit.
Why try to understand or even question along the way? Well, isn’t that the preceding action to receiving an answer?