There are lots of things to blog about, and I know some of you are waiting to hear how #BlogMob #Hunger went. I am purposely holding that post until tomorrow because I want to share a cool hunger event with you and tie it all together. If you are a blogger and need content for tomorrow, check this out.
Sometimes my blogs are about the past, the kids, the city I love. Today, my blog is about what kept me up last night and what has me clinging tightly to my southern side in that I want to not rush any second. It is a bit religious, but I hope you’ll all stick around and hear me out because I could surely use your thoughts, and even prayers.
I was raised in a Christian home. My dad is a United Methodist minister, and we’ve lived through lots because of this lifestyle. Some good, some bad. In the end, I know I was raised with excellent morals, a faith that’s strong, and a love that I cannot even begin to describe. My parents told me over and over, it didn’t matter who I fell in love with, as long as that love was real, they would love me and love that person, too.
Because of this, my love has never known boundaries. I ate lunch with the kids in the resource and special education programs when others stood back and made fun of them. I had theological conversations with my dad’s seminary friends (I was in 3rd to 5th grade). I volunteered at the food pantry, becoming a hunger advocate at an early age. I didn’t see color, race, religion, sex, gender, any of that as a barrier. I didn’t understand our country’s past (and present) hatred for people of a different color, religion, or love.
In turn, I fell in love with a man who throws all kinds of “do you really love unconditionally” moments at me. No, Greg’s not asking if I really and truly love him. He, and his background, give me all kinds of opportunities to look at myself and ask, are you really loving unconditionally? Greg is mixed race, Mom is white, Dad is African American. Their family practices the Baha’i faith. There are many levels of our family and friends where many people I know would (sadly) have something not-so-great to say about the various lifestyles within the weavings of US. Proudly, I can say that although there are these opportunities, I know I was raised right because I love every single difference in my life and I am so blessed for what Greg (and his family and friends) bring to my table. The kids know nothing different, and it is going to stay that way.
So, last night, Greg and I decided to watch The Help. Most of the time I spent in tears because I was ashamed of the past. I was embarrassed for my race for treating such loving, amazing people as if they were dirt to push around. God made them, too! The race wars are not completely over, but I am thankful that life is a bit better today thanks to people willing to take a stand.
Obviously, that’s one way that my tears were evoked, but one more thing happened as we watched the movie. Greg paused it and asked, “If these people think they are such good Christian women, do they really get to go to Heaven for treating other people like that? That’s not a Heaven I want to be in.” And so, a tearful religious conversation ensued. Baha’is do not believe in Heaven and Hell like Christians do. Becky doesn’t not believe that asking Jesus into your heart is the only way to Heaven…there is forgiveness and repentance needed. We agreed that when Judgement Day came, these people were probably proud of how they acted, and unless they honestly repented, will probably not be someone I’ll see walking the streets of gold.
And that got me thinking…if I am judging others’ rights into Heaven, will I too be banished to Hell? Is there really only the black and white? I let Satan get to me for a moment, wondering what really happens that last second we close our eyes–does it just stop there and we know no more? Surely not…I’ve been lucky to hear true “other side” stories and I long for the day I’ll be reunited with those I’ve lost already.
While I do not agree with the Baha’i principle that there is no literal Heaven or Hell but a forever closeness to (or away from) God depending on deeds, I just can’t imagine that a loving God would put Greg and I together only for a worldly life. I didn’t want to sleep because I didn’t want one less second with my husband, the man I vowed to love forever and into eternity. I am blessed with the fact that Greg is not a big fan of organized religion and sees my faith side of things, too, so we were able to talk about how one way or the other we would surely be together in eternity. It was just a hard night for me, imagining my forever without this man I love so much.
I slept little last night, and woke this morning in prayer. While we didn’t make it to a church service, I got down to work on some volunteering duties I needed to work on and put aside things I wanted to do. I had God time, and have a peace today. My hopes are that this blog will serve as a reminder that God is love and not hate. That God created us to love, and in order to be with him in eternity, we must love in return. There is no gray area, and for that, I am so thankful.