The Night Sky and All of Its Beautiful Explosions

My spiritual journey began before I had a chance to choose a direction

At a baptist church my family had been attending years before my birth

That was the first place I learned of God and His wrath

And how He would return one day, split the Earth open and release Lucifer

Who would then brand everyone that didn’t believe in God with the number of the beast

As a child, these tactics terrified me

To be forced into believing something out of fear

To think if it was true that it could happen at any moment

Which also gave me constant anxiety about Satan lurking beneath the ground I walked upon

Leading to odd compulsions like jumping to get to my bed and avoiding the number six

Though I did learn other hopeful aspects of Christianity

Through what I could gather from the yelling and banging at the pulpit

Like that God would listen to every prayer

And always be with me as long as I let Him live in my heart

I took what I could learn from that experience after my parents finally left the church

And applied those hopeful aspects to my life in other ways, like making friends

In middle school I followed my heart to a group of lovely individuals

Who then taught me the openness of Christianity at the Methodist church

It was the first time I had ever heard a Christian say gay people were not an abomination

It was the first time I had heard about a sex education class that families took together

It was the first time I felt like I was able to be curious and ask questions without belittlement

In junior high I attended their summer church camp on the edge of Lake Wappapello

And some nights, when no clouds were in sight, we would go to the dock to pray

Though I didn’t quite understand talking to a man in the sky

Who I couldn’t picture as anything but elderly with white hair and aged skin

Which reminded me too much of my grandpa and I didn’t want to divulge my sins to him

So on that dock I prayed to stars

I would watch how each one shined and aligned with the next to create connect the dot constellations

Recalled learning that the stars we see are light years away and the twinkle we sing about is their demise

My mind babbled away to the night sky and all its beautiful explosions

And I thought “God, if He’s true, would not identify as the spiteful and jealous man in most depictions

But present Himself in unpredictable ways like the pull I feel in my chest when I gaze upon these stars”

SWD 02/2018

Updated 06/2018

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Your writing on this spiritual experience moved from a more dry travelogue to something outstanding the moment I read “…So on that dock I prayed to stars…”
    I felt the pull in my chest too, reading these beautiful words. Thank you – I look forward to more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shllyn says:

    You are very kind and I am touched that my writing moved you. Thank you so so much for your lovely comments and helping me along this journey.

    Like

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