My grandmother's death is bringing out many kind words from family members. People praise how much she loved Jesus, how she was an inspiration for them. I read through some of the emails, scan others. A few emotions swirl and pass: angry, annoyed, distant. She made Christianity extremely important in her life. Her priorities included: building church memberships, spreading the gospel. Part of me wants to say family was a priority for her, and I'm not sure where that would fit in, exactly. I think the woman put religion over family, in some ways. Much like one of my uncles and my mom, my grandparents' spiritual life dominated their family life.
People find great comfort in the story of Jesus, and I understand why. I felt comforted by Christianity for a while. As I learned about spirituality in general and researched other philosophies, I grew away from the dogmatic views that passed as spiritual beliefs in my family. The idea that "God has a plan" may be true, and I tired of it as an answer for all things unknowable. To me, it seemed like people used the Bible as a reason to quit thinking critically. Analysis would reach a certain level and then get dropped with holy words, a la "Praise the Lord." Talk about a maze of confusion! Who can figure out how to feel when everyone's saying how freakin' great it all is?
All the power to you and your personal belief system. I respect each person's right to choose the thoughts and images that empower him or her. I believe in something greater than humans, bigger than all of us together. My grandmother's humanity involved depression, religious views, and a commitment to spending time with her family members. One way to view her church building is to see how she left her home country to escape war and translate that she built her own country around her.
Well hello there.