Sunday, April 03, 2005

Heavy heart/light heart, a journal entry

If I was in a poem mood I'd make this post into a poem. The sentiments are more appropriate for poem form because they are from a deep felt place rather than a rational one. They are all tangled up with home, and fragile like being wanted and being loved. I'm talking about church. It IS Sunday after all! :)

We had the coolest service at church today, at first. We had a guest minister from Transylvania and he read the Lord's prayer and he sounded JUST like Dracula reading the Lord's prayer and, I'm not kidding, he was wearing a black cape! Then we had music after amazing music. At one point we were all standing, clapping and singing as a dynamite musician was pounding the piano keys and his spine tingling voice was ringing out. It was awesome. And then another guest minister with a name like Ala Tu Tu Bab Way, (whose name used to be something like Herman Jones,) started a preachin'. Boy, he was good. This man can preach. He's a Presbyterian and a definite "God" minister. He was talking about how he prays when the spirit moves in his heart and the spirit moves in his heart ALL the time! (Hallelujah!) He said God is his center and his core. I was really enjoying this service. Contrary to what some people might think from my last post about church, God-talk does not bother me. I love to hear people's stories and I am truly tolerant when it comes to people's personal religious beliefs.

But then he drew a line between the God people and the not God people, with full contempt for the people who are "just in their heads" and don't understand the deeper things about life (aka: God.) Ouch. I felt so unwelcome. Although the sermon was definitely anti-a-theistic, it wasn't as bad, in a way, as the last sermon I wrote about, because he’s not a UU minister. On the other hand, I can’t imagine our ministers asking an atheist minister to preach who would be so contemptuous of theistic beliefs. I hope they wouldn’t.

I was so sad. I told a couple friends how unwelcome the sermon made me feel and, I started to cry when I said it.

Heavy hearted,
I cry.
But first,
Sonya brought me flowers for my birthday and a scarf that whispers ”you belong, you belong…”
And when I cried,
They held me.
And the ones that didn’t hold me stood by my side
And pet my arm.
And I breathe
And I drink some water and I
Let the sadness and the not-home ness fall
(A little awkwardly)
And I put it away for now
And walk to lunch.

Light hearted,
I laugh.
And I joke with Dan
Always the straight man.
And we have a little adventure as we stop in at the open house
And I see us through the broker mans eyes:
Four laughing girls in flowers,
Light hearted
In this warm and light and spacious
(And outrageously priced)
And we eat strawberries,
And some of us eat chocolate,
And we continue on our adventure,
Slipping out of the house, the ending of our story as mysterious as our beginning,
The only real moment
Being our brief entrance on their very real stage,
Characters in their play that day,
Lighthearted characters in their play.

And should I continue with the story about the desk? Far more real.
People hawking their wares on the sidewalk outside of their house,
Moving to Tennessee.
Darci bought an ottoman, with glee,
I bought a desk,
On our walk back to the church today,
Our light and fumbling way,
Our mysterious, real
Play (full way.)


Laura Moncur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Braidwood said...

Laura said, "I'm wondering if this UU is as good for you as the one in SLC. Maybe there is a different UU church in _____ that will fit your personality better..."

Sorry, Laura, I took out your comment to keep myself more anonymous.

Yes, I am starting to wonder about that. I loved our congregation in SLC. I felt soooo welcome and sooo at home. And I felt like everyone was truly welcome, no matter what their beliefs. I may look into a different church here, but I am attached to a lot of the people. I was reading a decision making book yesterday and it said that in relationships, when poeple are in a situation they don't like, there is the "Exit" strategy and the "Express" strategy. So, at my church I am still hopeful enough to try the express strategy. Ironcically, I felt a lot more spiritual nourishment in our very accepting SLC church than I do here with all the God talk.

Andrea said...

Braidwood, I enjoy your writing. You have a way of taking the reader along for the ride. I'm sorry you were feeling so sad yesterday. The poem seemed to show you were happier, at the end. :) It sounds like the guest minister was ill-chosen or not well-debriefed about who his listeners would be. But whatever the case, his attacks on the listeners' beliefs are discourteous and impolitic (especially if he's a guest!).

JB said...

Hi Braidwood. I know what you mean when a minister crosses the "everyone is welcome line" and begins to define the "believer" spectrum. How "strong" of a believer art thou? etc etc. Nothing but solidarity for that discomfort you felt. ^_^

Take it easy. JB.

Braidwood said...

Thanks, you guys!