Monday, June 20th, 2016
ANSWERS TO: WHAT IS “CHURCH” FOR YOU?
Well, that is kind of a lousy question and I will change it but as I used to say in my work as a Corporate Executive, “No matter what you ask, people will answer, talking about what they want to say”. A question can be like an open invitation.
I’m getting braver about asking this question. There may be a book hidden in it.
By braver I mean, I sometimes hate to ask any question because of the assumptions people automatically make. My book I PRAY ANYWAY is about my ambivalence about religion and God-ness and transcendent reality and so far people have identified it as a self-help for busy women, to a desire to encourage people to pray, to a statement or atheism. I wish. For that kind of absoluteness.
Maybe I ‘pray’ for it.
So this week, one person took the question to be a Rorshach test and began to spew against organized religion. One more irritated, disillusioned Catholic went on at length about the goal of religion to control, to gain power over others, to create fear as well as its hypocritical behavior throughout–forever. I tried to clarify the question taking it away from an actual church building toward what was sacred to this person. Nope. The rant had begun. We were at dinner and the check finally came. I had not said a word for twenty minutes. I would have liked to have lasted longer to see what might come at the end of the emptying of the bile. But he hadn’t finished and I was out of time.
The next person I asked was fast and clear. Her art is her church and her worship. (In fact she writes icons. ‘Write’ is the technical term.) But any time she is creating beauty feels like church to her. She said, “I feel joy and a presence of holiness and calm and timelessness. Contentment even in my cray life and world. Art is my church.”
There you have it. I really want to hear your answer.
I am collecting answers at this address and will not identify the source only the content in general terms and with permission.