The Lord God made them all
Yesterday, I met with my friend Jan on the way home from camp. It is always so good to see her. We are friends from way back and we can talk to each other about anything. We were talking about religion yesterday. She has always said I am a closet Christian, and it is time I came out.
My relationship with God is an interesting one. I was brought up a Christian, my great grandmother and my grandmother and I would go to Methodist services when I was young. At about 7 I decided to become a nun and then I found out you had to be Catholic. So then I decided I would follow Gladys Aylward, one of my childhood heroes, and become a missionary in China, save all the Chinese as it were, from their heathen ways. I went to Sunday school every week, it is hard to believe I was once so pious.
When I was 11 I got lost in the bush in Boddytown, just out of Greymouth, It was our first day there and I had gone into the bush with my brother. We heard dad calling us home and argued about which was the right way. I was wrong. Once I realised I was lost a prayed for help. Suddenly I saw something, it looked like a giant man, gave me such a fright than I ran in the opposite direction and fell into a stream. I followed it and came out into a paddock with a large bull, who fortunately ignored me, just as the search party was being formed. My father said it was probably a stag in the bushes that I saw, but I was convinced it was God’s divine intervention.
Things changed for me after my parents separated, I was totally disillusioned and stopped going to church, then Carol died and I felt God was punishing me. I stayed away. My brother became a Christian, one of those abominable ones who believes they have all the answers. He told my grandmother that she may as well have not been born since she was just a Methodist. She responded they without her, he would not be there. He also said that Carol wouldn’t have gone to heaven because she was not born again.
When I was 19 I became a Christian again, I wasn’t as rigid as my brother but I joined a church and went to everything. Then I met a man much older than me and I fell in love, He was definitely not a Christian and in hindsight was not a good match for me but love is blind so I gave up my faith for him. A month later, my sister Judy died, totally unexpectedly out of the blue, in fact I had been down to see my mum the week before and I wanted to call into Kimberley to see her but Mum had said no, she is really settle and doing great and your visit might upset her, so I stayed away.
I figured it was punishment for abandoning my faith again.
so I steered clear of God and churches. The following year I got pregnant. I told nobody for months and when I finally confessed the family decided I should go and live with my brother and his wife as she couldn’t have children so they could adopt mine.
Of course staying with him, I had to go to church and I could see the ladies whispering about my heathen ways, my brother told me God would punish me for my wicked ways. I quickly decided that I was going to keep my baby. When she was born with obvious disabilities, my brother said, see I told you God would get you.
I was determined then to stay away from religion and all things Christian. Funny thing is, I always seem to have a least one Christian around me, generally a good friend, almost to remind me that Christians aren’t all bad. And they aren’t.
I don’t have the faith of my childhood any more, of an all seeing God of protection, but I do believe in Karma, what comes around goes around .
I certainly couldn’t fit in with the mores of many Christian churches, I believe in a woman’s right to choose if she wants to continue a pregnancy, I believe adults should make decisions about their relationships, straight gay or otherwise. I don’t believe that gay marriage means a fundamental breakdown in family life, I believe it enhances it and mostly I believe in euthanasia and I would love that option should I ever need it.
I live my life as honestly and kindly as I can. It is the only way I know how.
© Barbara Hart 2014