Thursday, March 13, 2014

Will you ever just get around to toothpaste?

Me, my mom, and Lil' D's namesake
on Christening Day 1980
Yes. Yes. I will.

But in the meantime I wanted to share a really good talk from a guy some of you readers probably know. He went to University of Virginia and is now the youngest Very Reverend that has ever been in the history of the Episcopal church (I think) and he lives right here in the Ham.

I've been struggling with a tough decision about whether or not to baptize Lil' D. Now for those of you not from Birmingham - saying you are undecided about baptism in Alabama is probably akin to saying you can't decide whether or not to travel with your baby in a carseat. Are you crazy? Subversive? Both?

But like I said before I can't really call myself a Christian so it's definitely been a thought process.

I finally came down on the side of Yes! Baptism! Simply for the fact that I enjoyed my time in church as a child. Singing in the choir, Sunday School, Christmas crafts, Weds. night dinners - I loved it all. And before my brain took over, lots of the Bible provided some very real comfort to me growing up. So I decided that Lil' D should have that experience too. Then she can decide on her own when she grows up whether or not she wants to go to church or believe whatever.

So I was digging around the Episcopal diocese of Birmingham and found some really good talks coming out of Advent (unfortunately not my family's church, but that is another story). One of which is this one from The Very Reverend Pearson (who also happened to be friends with JTS's little sisters). I feel Rev. Pearson gave me my box to check (which I lamented not having a month ago).

The talk is about people who have left the church for being too dogmatic and are either sad or mad. I definitely fall into the sad camp (although I did not have a fundamentalist background). I remember the specific day I no longer believed in any of it. I was walking back to my mom's hotel room in NYC after searching out a Duane Reade for medicine. I was living there at the time and earlier that day we had gone to see Gypsy. My mom has MS and she had a very uncomfortable attack during the play. She had tried to pretend she wasn't hurting. But MS waits for no woman and by the time it was over she was in considerable pain. I was angry and upset, stomping up 7th avenue, pushing through the hordes of theater tourists, thinking about it all. And all of a sudden a light bulb went off. It just seemed like stories. Made up stories to make people feel better. And I was done. Andrew mentions NYC in this talk so it must be the city where religion goes to die. (But I promise this talk is positive!)

But I found this talk interesting and comforting to someone who, while not burned by the church, isn't an active member anymore. Actually I found all his talks really interesting. He is one smart dude.

It's called Having A Heart for Those Burned By The Church.

One more because you really can't beat the
late 70's/early 80's in the eyewear department.


Katherine said...

This post makes me happy for a couple of reasons:
1. I like hearing more about your thoughts on this topic. (Even though the content is sad. I didn't know your mom had MS. I'm really sad to hear that).
2. Andrew and I went to middle and high school together. I have lots of memories with Andrew, and most are ridiculous. In a good way.

I ordered more coconut oil to continue the pulling.

Daisy said...

I thought you might know him! He talks about Young Life and other things you write about and it seemed to overlap a little. I really enjoy his talks and am probably going to try out Advent this weekend since B can't take herself to church - I want to make sure I can get something out of it as well.

The NYC story does seem so sad when I read back over it. When I wrote it it seemed so factual to me. Those were the days before the miracle drug Copaxone - when missing one of 10 pills she had to take a day meant things went wrong really fast (she had forgotten her mid morning dose). But Copaxone has actually reversed a lot of her MS markers and she is doing much, much better so those moments are fewer and farther between.

I'm about to move onto my 2nd jar of oil - still loving it.