Saturday, June 05, 2010

Issues of Faith and Spirituality

I hadn't realized what a long time it's been since I blogged!  Ugh, it's just been a crazy month!  I haven't been feeling well, which surprised me; I thought that after my last doc visit I had some good treatments in place and that my meds were going to be helpful.  No matter what I do, I seem to get a lot of migraines and not have any energy!  I don't even know whether it's mental / emotional or just physical strain.  Maybe the medicines are actually working against me! I don't know anymore, there are so many things they are having me do and take and ... ugh!  It's a difficult cycle, getting a migraine, feeling bad and sometimes having to take medicine to get rid of it ... the medicine makes me tired, the whole ordeal frustrates me, and then I try to recover, but I get another headache!  I really try not to complain a lot about my condition, because I have seen how it has given me valuable lessons and strength that maybe I would not have gained without it.  But sometimes I just say to God (as I am a spiritual person who believes in prayer):  "Do ya think I've carried this particular 'cross' long enough yet?"  I know that many people suffer with worse disabilities and illness and all sorts of circumstances.  But sometimes, when I get really down with what's happening, it's hard to see how that changes what I'm going through!  I say to God, again:  Wouldn't I be more of service to others or able to do more valuable work in this life if I were well?   God seems to be telling me no, not yet.

I guess spirituality and faith is as good a place to (re)start blogging than anywhere! I have long struggled to find a "church home" where people at least accept my view of deity, if they don't completely agree with it.  I have spent a lot of time attending a Unitarian church in my neighborhood.  The people are wonderful there, but somehow ... I don't feel "home" there.  I am planning to go to services at an Episcopal Church this weekend if I remain feeling well, physically.  I have never attended one before, but I like that the church in my area is very involved in social outreach and serving the least among them... I also like the inclusiveness they seem to have, allowing women and homosexuals to minister and hold the same positions that straight white men may hold.   I think my faith is Christian, but when I talk with others who identify themselves as such, I find that many people who claim the faith are not open-minded or merciful in their approach to justice and politics.  I don't know.  Basically, I'm not sure whether I "fit in" anywhere, but I know I would like to have a House of God to go to and share community and be part of an honest faith.  

I personally don't think that people remember, or like to remember, that Jesus was a radical, a rabble-rouser, and a rebel in His time and in His society.  Whether you believe the Christian philosophy that He was an incarnation of God or whether you feel He was another prophet, that is irrelevant to this particular detail about Him.  The man did not hesitate to take on authority, the "conservatives" of His day.  He didn't shy away from showing dismay and anger and a sense of injustice.  He stood up and fought, not with fists (although by all accounts there were a few incidents, like in the Temple with the money changers), but with His example, His life, His words.  And He stood up beside the sick and dirty and poor and criminal, the lowest of the low, so to speak.  And He fought for them, believing that every human life is redeemable and worthy of dignity.  

In many parts of the USA, that is the last kind of behavior people who claim Him as their god seem to be interested in.  But He was not indirect in His commandment that we are meant to serve the lowly, those we might feel are "sinners," the least among us.   I'm not saying that I'm some saint and everyone around me is a philistine.  Rather, I just don't feel like people remember who He was, what radical ideas He courageously presented, things like that.  I would like to be part of a community that DOES honor those qualities.  None of us gets it right all the time or behaves in some dogmatically perfect way.  But my belief is that we are called to TRY.  I don't think a lot of people want to hear that.  Especially not in MY neck of the woods (the midwest).   But I have faith that there is a place for me, and for what I believe.

...That's what has been on my mind today!  I'll be writing more now that I'm "back" from my hiatus.