In God I Trust
Lately I've been thinking a lot about the road I've walked with God so far. I have vivid memories of sitting on the stairs with my mom when I was about 6 years old asking questions like: "How do I know if I really believe in God?", "How does God know if I really believe?", "How can I love God enough?".
In the years that followed, I attended parochial school where everyday I heard about how much God loved me. I memorized Bible verses and attended chapel. God became a chore, not a choice. Then when I was in 6th grade, news began to surface of serious sexual allegations against the long-time principal and an 8th grade teacher. I remember seeing the anger in my parents eyes but I didn't realize at the time, the effect it would have on me. More and more, today I do.
In a place where everyday I was taught about the love of Jesus, how to trust, and why I should believe - terribly awful things were happening at the same time. The principal that I saw as a friend and someone i could trust was ruining the lives of my schoolmates, all while preaching the word of the Lord.
So where does that leave me now?
It leaves me in a place where I long to be closer to Jesus but I can't put my faith in a church and the humans that preach it. So many times I've sat in church feeling judged and inferior, instead of welcomed and loved. The judgmental glances are not necessarily always directed at me but they do not go unnoticed.
It's human nature to use our eyes to assess. We assess our surroundings, situations, and strangers we meet. It's a sad truth that we all make initial judgements, based on what we see.
What isn't human nature is empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to relate to another person's pain vicariously, as if one had experienced that pain themselves. People are not born with empathy. It is a learned ability. It is a valuable skill in carrying out "The Golden Rule." If more people valued empathy, there would be less judgment and more understanding. Fewer turned backs and more shoulders to lean on. Accepted not rejected.
Everyone has a battle. Inner and outer demons. Even when it doesn't show on the outside, there may be struggle on the inside.
All-in-all, I'm just another lost human being, trying to make sense of the world. I'm hoping that somehow we can all begin to share in our struggles on our way back home to the Lord, instead of focusing so much on ourselves. We all have questions. We all have pain. We all need love. We all need Jesus.
How does God know you really love him?