Saoirse is in an email thread with an old co-worker about religion. Said co-worker is a Christian. Here are my thoughts…
I have never felt Jesus. I’ve never been comforted by Jesus. To me, Jesus is just a blank void where prayers are sent to, and nothing comes back. This isn’t to say Jesus isn’t real, or that Christians are Absolutely Wrong – I’ve just never gotten a peep out of the dude. Nor have my kiddos, some of which were/are convinced that everything bad happened because they weren’t good enough Christians, and that they just needed to try harder. Jesus was repeatedly begged to for help, and that help never arrived. We spent literally hours on our knees in private prayer, and got… Nothing.
Saoirse is really bitter about that, and to be honest, I am a little too. Because while I’ve never felt Jesus’ presence, I *have* felt the presence of other Goddesses and Gods. I have felt a connection to the Divine, and I have found comfort and healing there. I spent years in liberal Judaism, because while I couldn’t connect with Jesus, I could connect with some aspects of the Jewish faith. I seriously considered going through a full conversion and even thought about becoming a rabbi! I did neither, for various reasons, but if I’m going to ever return to a Judeo-Christian faith, it will be Judaism, not Christianity.
I did spend a year taking classes at a wiccan seminary, which was enough to realize I was more generic pagan than traditional wiccan. I’m still a lot more at home in a wiccan circle than a christian church, though. The truth is, I haven’t found any religious group I totally gel with. Some are more compatible with me than others, but my favorite church is still to be outside alone in nature.
There is something comforting in having deities that don’t all pretend to be omnipotent and omniscient. One of my first Goddess experiences was one of weakness. She communicated that she couldn’t stop the badness, she wasn’t powerful enough, but she’d suffer with me and share my pain. She wanted me to know that I wasn’t alone, and that no matter the hell I was in, she’d be by my side. Of course, being DID, I do have to wonder if the Goddess in that story wasn’t just another alter, but I don’t think so, it was a totally different kind of experience. With DID I’m always aware that the other parts are ‘inside’. My Goddess experience felt ‘outside’. I just felt this incredible presence with a depth of compassion that was beyond anything I had dreamed of. It enveloped me with a love and caring so profound that I can still remember the room it happened in and the entire experience, although it happened more than 30 years ago. And hey, if folks get that from Jesus, more power to ’em. I can totally get why they’d be fans. It just hasn’t happened that way for me.