When I became a proper Christian it was with wonder and fear. Of my totality of connection to Creation and all therein. And what the fuck I was supposed to do now (including the fear of STILL thinking/saying “fuck”).
Wonder of God – yes. Fear of God – no!
(that was reserved for my fellow Christians)
It was a similar cocktail when Mrs (to-be) Paul and I agreed we were an item. Wonder of someone I fancied! Instant fear of farting … speaking in my sleep … eating too much … doing the wrong things!
And then time kicks in.
The first fart (and then farting together). The first constricted silent poo (and then the pooing together). That inevitable drift from “holding it all in” to letting it all out – to “being ourselves”.
Which still wasn’t.
Because along the way we found each other’s “hot buttons”. And we learned to NOT speak honestly – to NOT “let it all out” – and to “keep the peace” – to avoid confrontation.
We called that love.
Except there was a silent counting. Which exacerbates when children come along.
The two loaves now with five fishes and a multitude to feed, clothe, and wash. And the two loaves live on a few relationship crumbs – with more “hot buttons” of frustration and exhaustion.
And when that is done …
The two loaves find that being just “two loaves” is weird. Perhaps that this “wondrous loaf” has lost its yeast. And have to find again how to enjoy a new relationship with the same person (who isn’t).
Or to separate.
Being a Christian has been much the same for me.
Except the bible has become the “cross to bear” …. This “inerrant and infallible” – this “biblically-scripturally-correct” – bible … This “I look good on the outside” bible of changing correctness – that holds us “proper Christians” together. Like wedding vows …
“But you said it was for life!”
The moment I stopped holding THAT vow against both Mrs Paul and me was when I became free.
Free to love without condition. Free to have many relationships with the same – but different – Mrs Paul (and she me). Because love is not sharing a cake equally.
Love is creating cakes of wonder – again and again – without any thought of who gets what. Which is why, for me now, the bible is full of love AND totally laid-back about all the rest.
Some hate the bible, some would burn it, others would consign it to the scrapheap of bigotry. Others (and I have) call it a family album, our family’s journeys, a search for God. But no matter which you prefer – none of that is of love.
THAT is of “truth”.
And the critics go factual whilst the converts go spiritual. And the noise of division is heard for all eternity.
My relationship is not dictated by my “vows of truth”. Our vows were an intention of love. The rest is down to each of us over time. And every day.
Love dictates the rest – and NOT the other way around.
Just like the bible.
So you BELIEVE a penis in another’s anus is a sin … you BELIEVE the bible is scripturally correct … you BELIEVE those who worship another god are sinners … you BELIEVE you can replicate your behaviour according to the bible …
For me that is now just “the rest”.
Where is MY love in those “correct bits” (that change over time)? Where is MY growing love (without condition)?
When I became free to let love without condition dictate MY reading of the bible and God …
That’s when “being a Christian” was no longer relevant.
Because that label is now also of “the rest”.