In the midst of long weekend and public holiday mania, I was surprised to find myself feeling quite blue this easter. I should have been enjoying the holidays (and I did, so I should have been enjoying them more I suppose) but I had this weird emptiness and longing that I was rather scared to spend time reflecting on in case it forced me to rethink my life (I have moments like that, y’know).
FJ was working for a significant chunk of the easter weekend and while this makes me sad (I’m terrible at being alone in the house – I feel like I should be doing something but don’t know where to start so I decide to do nothing and then feel all anxious about doing nothing so start thinking I should be doing something but don’t know where to start so I do nothing so then I just eat and then I feel anxious about eating too much and then think I should go to gym and decide to eat more rather… annnnnyyyyywwwwaaaaaayyyy), my sadness wasn’t due to him being at work.
In a surprise turn of events, I was actually sad because easter was no longer as significant for me as it used to be. I posted on Facebook how easter used to be a time of huge excitement in my life – working as a pastor meant that it was a time of real celebration, where hundreds of other Christ-followers and I would get together, break bread, sing songs and proclaim the words “He is risen indeed” loudly and proudly. I have such special memories and so many songs I remember us singing that as I started humming them to myself this weekend, I suddenly got all tearful.
I vowed a while ago that I would not set foot in a church (well, a specific denomination) after they treated a Minister who was lesbian and got married, very badly (in my opinion). And yet, there I sat, longing to be back in the pews joining the masses of believers. I’ve undergone a massive change in belief over the last few months and while I no longer call myself a Christian, I do miss the community that comes with Christianity. I suppose that’s because it’s the only thing that really makes Christianity real – the people who believe in it. And those people I really enjoyed being a part of. AndI suppose that’s why their rejection of who I was because it didn’t fit into their mould of what it meant to be a Christ-follower, hurt me so much. And leaves me feeling sad. I felt like I was mourning the memory of a break-up while they were celebrating the resurrection of their Messiah who died so we no longer needed to live by law or in judgement, but in the knowledge that the kingdom of God is at hand. For all. Yet, I mourn because I feel judged by those who subscribe to a school of thinking that says my marriage to a man is deplorable.
Now I know not all Christ-followers believe this. And I celebrate the Church’s choice to wrestle with the acceptance of gay people. I heard of a preacher who spoke this weekend and prayed about mourning on Good Friday. One of things he mourned was that sexuality, which was a gift from God to all, was now the cause of derision and division in the Church. I have experienced a Church divided, and left the war defeated, and hurt, and angry.
Now I watch the war from the bleachers, and I just feel sad.