This blog is not meant to cast shade at this church. I am simply recounting a memory (as close to right as I can remember it). In no way am I trying to stir up hard feelings nor am I attempting to bring up past hurts. That is all.
I was raised in church my whole life. From my earliest years, all I have known was church and I am better for it. Many of my memories are colored with remembrances of powerful church services, and some memories are better than others. For instance, I can remember my first attempt at public singing. It started off fine but my voice was changing, and things quickly went downhill from there. Tearfully, I came to the realization that perhaps singing was not in my wheelhouse.
Then there are the other memories.
If your sleeves were not long enough, it became a heaven or hell issue. You didn’t shave? That was an issue and suddenly God’s grace was not going to cover that. Things progressively got worse. I watched as friends were caused pain, often humiliated from the pulpit. To be fair, it didn’t happen just at church. It would happen in public as well. In many ways it seemed that there was one Gospel for them, and one for us. It ended with me vehemently renouncing the church and declaring that I would never go back. I am not going to detail the humiliation, nor will I speak of other pain caused in moments of zeal. It is enough to simply say that many people left church harboring ill feelings.
Why am I writing about this?
Yesterday, I was at a church service. I was speaking to someone and a minister snapped at me that church was beginning. Instantly, I was transported back into time to Morriston. I felt like I was 12 years old again, and my cheeks burned from embarrassment. This man from yesterday has no idea of my background, nor does he know the depth of pain that comes from these memories. However, I realized that 34 years have passed and the sheer memories of Morriston brings back pain that I would rather avoid. Therefore, I decided that I would write about it, purge it from my system, and let go of the past.
Last night, my pastor preached, and he referenced the parable of the rich young ruler. “One thing thou lackest.” I don’t want to live a life that I think is pleasing to God, only to be told that I was found lacking one thing. Therefore, the pain and the anguish of Morriston must be addressed and let go. There is no life in the past, and the future holds better things.
You guys take care.