...respect is just the minimum...



Last night was mother daughter night. Moms and I saw 'Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God'. We both left the theatre raving about how much we enjoyed the performance and were particularly impressed by the actress - Karen Robinson - who portrayed Rainey Johnson. I completely related with her doubts and questions. It's odd, because like her I was 'raised in the church'. My mother has always been a very active member of her church and I know that it saddens her that I have seemingly given up on attending with her on a regular basis. I've tried time and time again to explain to her the reason for my displeasure/distaste with some of the activities that I've experienced in her church, as well as the dislike I have for the ongoing gossip and controversy that I have observed there.

But, I'm off topic...Let me first tell you a bit about the play (in case you have not yet seen it). The story revolves around a character by the name of Rainey Johnson who is from a Black township in Ontario (Canada) called Negro Creek. She is mourning the death of her daughter, the death of a mother figure and is trying to sort out her relationship with God. Throughout the play her faith is questioned and she ponders the basis of her beliefs.

Now, I should tell you that I was raised as an Anglican but attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Although I may have taken it for granted at the time, I definitely value the education that I received in religion during my elementary and secondary education. I particularly value the encouragement of one religion teacher who urged all of his students not to simply accept any and everything as truth. Because of him, I have always asked questions and believe that questioning better enables me to justify and strengthen my beliefs. (However, I know that not every question may result in a definite answer). Anyways, based on the guidance bestowed on me by this religion teacher, I was brave enough to question one of my Sunday school teachers in church one day. (Note: This was probably while I was in the 9th or 10th grade). She had asked the class to rate our belief in all events in the Bible on a scale of 1 to 10. She went around the circle with every rating in the range of 9 or 10. However, when she got to me, my response was 7. She then proceeded to ask me to provide a reason for why I had chosen 7; of course I explained to her that there were many occurrence in the Bible that I had questions about and also had recently been learning about the theory of evolution which did not seem to follow with the proposed creation story outlined in the Bible. Not once during my response did I say that I did not believe; my only statement had been that I had unanswered questions. Yet, instead of attempting to provide me with a valid response or justification, this Sunday school teacher chastised me for even questioning any event that I had read about.

This is turning into a much longer explanation that I had planned. To cut it short, from that day forward I distanced myself from the formal act of simply going to church. That days events and other events that came afterwards left me wondering whether these so-called church going Christians were really at church for the right reason. It seemed to be a charade where they sat in pews rocking and praising one moment and then as soon as they stepped out the door, they were whispering, gossiping and criticizing. However, unlike Rainey, I've simply realized that I don't need to be in a specific building to maintain a relationship with a higher Being and I don't need to broadcast to the entire world that I continue to try to build a relationship with that Being. But I am still searching....whether it's for God or for my Self, I really don't know.

...rotating... Red Star Sounds Vol.1: Soul Searching
...anticipating... contentment


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