"...'cause there's no parachute that they can make for this
'cause I put my pain, my heart, my soul, my faith in this..."
My spiritual infancy brimmed with missionary zeal. Every faithful Christian should eventually find their way to missions and ministry. Christians who simply gave financial support and prayed were just ducking the hard work.
Did anyone ever say as much? No, not once.
Was this the overwhelming impression that I was left with? Yes, I and very many others.
As adamant as these zealots might have been in saying that there was no two-tier Christendom, they never realized that their works and words created such a world. They scoffed and laughed at the charismatics who segregate the faithful into those who've spoken in tongues and those who haven't, but they then frowned on those who elected to pursue a dream apart from third-world countries or clerical collars.
Two tiers? No, never. It's just that some people love God more and some not so much. Not being in ministry meant you either didn't love God or you didn't love people.
God cannot be God of all creation and God of only those who are in ministry.
Creation, so great and so wide and God's name is writ large over it all. And yet, I believed, I followed those who would confine Christendom to church walls, literal and otherwise. The otherwise refers to the begrudging concession that Christ may be loved outside a church building. But a discomfort plagues them if the love is not covered in crosses, soft lighting and tearful conversion stories.
But now, day by day, the glowing upswell in me burns brighter. I know where I'm going. For so much of my life, I feared that my teachers were right and that God was a petty Asian bureaucrat who wanted to lock me inside a church. No, far more powerful, far more gentle than I could have imagined, he beckons me towards a life I was trained to believe could never be mine.
There has never been a moment of greater rebellion and greater obedience for me. Throwing my hat in the ring, I'm going to be a writer. An echo from years past rings in my heart "If you won't take a chance on this, what will you take a chance on?" I'm not going to write for Christian media. I don't have the stomach for trying to be awkward and impish, skirting family-unfriendly realities. Screw that stupid shit. It's not going to be for academia as if I cared about impressing them and acquiring for myself their distinctions and honors anymore. I won't have a big organization to hide me. My parents taught me that security lay in size. There is no security in size. There's only security in the hollow of God's hand. And I believe that's exactly where I am. Throw away so many of the beliefs I've been taught, so many of the doctrines that finger-wagging reverend faces have instilled in me. Throw away the fears, the false needs, the empty materialism. Throw away the useless practices that no longer serve me. Rebel, reject and return to the naked freedom of knowing that God wants you to be yourself.