Tuesday, October 22, 2013

church grief

The church we left three years ago had an event the other day and my feeds are full of pictures from it and all the pain came back as I saw them. They're celebrating and people are talking about what a gracious and loving church they're so glad to belong to, and I said the same thing for years, and then I figured out that I was and am disposable to them. When they treated someone who worked there like an employee instead of a brother and a friend and fired him in a horrible economy and made up a very suspicious story about the circumstances for the firing, my heart broke. I sat in meetings with the elders and was one weeping woman in a roomful of stoic men each time. When they told me my intuition was wrong, I knew I had to leave. But there is so much pain and so much wrong that was swept under the rug, never to be revisited. I kept thinking the other night "blood still cries from the ground."

This should never happen to anyone.

Monday, October 14, 2013

stephy vs. sunday school

I taught Sunday school yesterday. I was nervous because Sunday school was so awful for me growing up and this meant re-entering those memories. As a kid I cried a lot at Sunday school. I cried on the way to church and faked sick every Saturday night throughout childhood, but was always made to go. Teaching Sunday school yesterday felt really good because the focus was on connecting with the kids and not policing them, and also not teaching them some kind of factual historical truth, but inviting them into a story. I told the story of Moses and the burning bush (so many that's-what-she-said moments). My daughter asked me "Did this really happen?" and I said "I don't know, but I think it's an important story. What could it mean? Why could it have meant so much to so many people for so long? You can decide what it means for you. It may mean different things to you over your life. It has for me."

I remembered too the ways that I tried to get out of Sunday school when I was little. I would hide outside or ask the teacher if I could go to the bathroom and then just never went back. I also remember hiding in the church balcony which was my favorite but I was busted pretty quick. Who else Shawshanked out of Sunday school or faked sick every Saturday night or cried en route to church?