My faith is not something I speak of very often here.
I left church a number of years ago, needing to be free of religion, to deconstruct things I had been taught to believe and discover what I really did believe. To separate religion and God, understanding they were not the same thing but finding it impossible to see the difference when shrouded in theology and expectation.
I suppose the reason I don’t speak of it much, or write of it much, is that I still feel like I’m sifting the rubble; quietly in my own time and way picking through two decades of church teaching to gather in my arms what I believe to be my own truth, the essence of my own faith. Not the truth I am told to believe, or required to believe, to be acceptable in the eyes of God.
Because of these things, I find myself restless today, on Easter Sunday, with the uncertainty of what significance this day holds for me. I have no desire to step back into a church – for all I no longer know, what I do know is I could never find God in the written prayers, the hymns, within the walls of a building. I could never reconcile in my heart this teaching of a God of unconditional love with a religion that places conditions upon our salvation. Mercy triumphs over judgement, but only if we follow the twelve-step program to redemption, otherwise, well, God will judge your acceptability into heaven. At least, that’s what religion would have us believe.
Good thing God isn’t so big on the whole religion thing either.
So today I did Easter my way; a 20km bike ride under autumn skies, surrounded by dirt roads and the fragrance of wattle trees, the call of native birds and a gentle breeze grazing against my skin. I rode to this old church that stands by itself on a hill on a lone country road, a church with dirt floors and dusty windowsills, with cobwebs on the ceiling and the low whistle of the wind as it moves through the cracks of its original freestone walls.
It is deserted, eerie, haunting.
An empty tomb.
No matter what your belief or faith, the story of Easter still remains the same. Resurrection. New life. New beginnings. New hope. It is still a story we can grasp and hold tight to – to know that at any time we hold the power and promise of new beginnings in our hands.
I may not know all I believe to be true anymore. But I do know that no matter how I doubt, struggle, question, and disbelieve, I am loved just the same.
Happy Easter x