I have been hanging out with Christians over the weekend. Now, this isn’t unusual, I live in a heavy Christian area. Most of my family, co-workers, and acquaintances are all Christian – in one form or another. But over this past weekend, I was in a seminar about faith – and I was the only non-Christian there. My anxiety and privacy kept me from self-disclosing this, but I participated in some of the actions and hoped I brought a bit of a non-Christian paradigm. While I was there, I noticed something – that many of the ladies in this group experience god very similar to the ways I do. That particular way is through feeling or what I sometimes call, the heart.
For me, religion has always been about feeling, and not necessarily beliefs or knowledge. I am sure I took this from the way I was raised. I was brought up in a Pentecostal church, and several of the ideas stressed was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, living life filled with the Holy Spirit, and following ones feelings over rationalization of the mind. This “still silent voice” in the heart was the ultimate authority on what was right and wrong. God gave us this tool in order to better communicate with Him, because no matter what we believe or intellectualize about the divine, we could never truly know God. So it is through feeling and the heart where we best can know His wishes, communicate with Him, and learn about Him.
I still believe this. When you are young, and you rebel over the many things your parents wanted you to be. However it seems to trace back when you get older. I will be hitting 40 in a few months, and I realize that my relationship with god has grown since I was a small boy, to the man I am today. But the basic belief that god loves me, and wants me to live fully is still here. Yes, it has waxed and waned with my particular paradigms occurring, but yet here I am. My beliefs are secondary – and I have believed lots of different things. It really isn’t important what I think about life after death, the nature of wrong and right, understanding who god is and what his or her name is. None of things things matter as much as that feeling of heart.
Is this a Christian concept? Most definitely, and I accept that. It is not a bad thing. Is it particularly something that previous believers in my faith practiced? It’s very doubtful. But it does make me who I am, and it fulfills a need that I have. It doesn’t make me any less Kemetic Orthodox than the next person, but I am aware that not everyone needs this or has this.
In closing, I would like to share a Pentecostal Altar call hymn:
“In the Savior’s brow;
His head with radiant glories crowned,
His lips with grace o’er flow,
His lips with grace o’er flow.
“No mortal can with Him compare,
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair,
Who fill the heav’nly train,
Who fill the heav’nly train.
“He saw me plunged in deep distress,
And flew to my relief;
For me He bore the shameful cross,
And carried all my grief,
And carried all my grief.
“To Him I owe my life and breath,
And all the joys I have;
He makes me triumph over death,
And saves me from the grave,
And saves me from the grave.”
Listen to that voice in your heart. Grab that feeling that grows. Know that that is god talking to you and he wants you to know that you are never alone.