Take Me to the Place Where Faith No Longer Hurts
Your Faith Should Feel Like Coming Home, Not Like Being Kept Prisoner
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
From the very beginning, we humans have gotten it wrong. Survival of the fittest evolved into survival of the whitest. The expanse of time between the two bookends of our becoming alive to our becoming aware holds wars, subjugation, domination, annihilation—and rationalization for it all.
The toxic stench of patriarchy permeates the air, fouling the most serene of landscapes and the most majestic of ocean waves.
At every turn where we could have chosen differently, we chose control.
At every moment where we could have chosen compassion, we chose violence.
At every crossroad where we could have brought humanity along with us, we chose greed.
There is no God that would ever condone any of this.
No matter how many times you contort ancient scripture to fit your narrative.
No—this God was made in the image of those who needed to justify horrific acts of oppression
…all for the glory of humans in power.
I want to believe that good will prevail.
I want to believe that justice will be done.
I want to know with a certain degree of certainty that children of every color, physical or mental capacities and background will have a better lived experience than their ancestors.
I want to know with 100% certainty that, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quoted* and President Obama had imprinted in a rug in the Oval Office, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
I want to see all the people rise up and change this broken system, heal the lands, and love everyone with a ferocity that can only be found when you truly believe in Jesus’ words to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I want to believe it.
Was it naïveté or wanton ignorance that prevented me from seeing the way the world truly is, with its power-hungry patriarchal structure that simply will not take its foot off the neck of the oppressed?
Is it stubbornness that keeps me from giving up?
Or is it hope?
Either way, I awake to another day, vacillating between my own bookends of extreme fear and unrelenting hope.
Hope for what?
That goodness will indeed prevail.
That kindness and compassion will be the banner under which we will live.
That we will collectively rise up, heal what’s broken and work together to elevate the human condition and leave the world a better place because we were in it.
I want to believe it.
It is Rumi who delivers the most eloquent of words for this season of humanity.
A mystic who lived hundreds of years ago understood that in order for humanity to escape the paths we were choosing…
the paths that had built a power structure which demanded the historically oppressed to remain forever oppressed…
that we see one another through the eyes of God.
Not the eyes of the God we had created to justify our bigotry.
The eyes of God that can gaze upon another and see…
that we are they.
Any other God is a figment of the imagination of those in power, fearful of losing control.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.” —Rumi
I’ll meet you there, Beloved.
Come to the field.
Let us awaken, heal, and work for the good of the whole.
I’ll meet you there.
*Theologian Theodore Parker (1810–1860) is the person who originally wrote this quote.