Tune in.

For wherever two or three gather in my name, there I am among them.

Matthew 18:20

So, my cousin and I had a serious talk about faith last week. Like, we went deeeeeeep. Those conversations are HARD, because faith is personal. WAY PERSONAL. Conversations about faith are tricky, because people tend to confuse difference of opinion with combat. As though if I say what I believe, or how I need to worship, it somehow negates your belief or your path to God.

I have been thinking a lot about my faith and faith in general lately. I don’t want to brag, but I think I have figured the WHOLE THING OUT. Unless I am wrong. There’s a super-good chance I am wrong. But even so, I think I might be on to something…

It’s frequency.

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You know how some people find themselves on the side of a mountain, or hiking through the forest, or on a river, or on the shore of the ocean, or in the desert and things make more sense to them there? They can go quiet, and hear the Universe? Or people find themselves in a Baptist church, or an Episcopal church, or the Catholic church, or a meta-church, like mine in WA- or a storefront ministry in the inner city, or an affluent mega-church? And things come into focus? They suddenly make sense?

It is ALL THE SAME THING.

We are individuals. We hear things differently.

I was raised Catholic. There are things about that faith that are inordinately comfortable to me- but when I go to Mass? I can’t hear God there. For me, there’s too much ritual, not enough relating the Gospel to my actual life. That ends up feeling like static to me- like I am frantically playing with the radio dial trying to hear my favorite song clearly, but there’s too much interference. It frustrates me.

My grandmother was a devout Catholic, and perhaps the most profoundly important person in my life. When I would go to Mass with HER, and watch her brow un-furrow, her shoulders relax- I could SEE her heart opening up- that’s the closest I came to feeling God in that setting. I am not saying He isn’t there, of course He is, that’s just not the place for ME to be in communion with Him.

There is nothing wrong, or remotely bad about it. Just not my frequency. It’s like a hearing test when you have to raise your hand when you start to hear the beep- we all hear it at different times, different volumes. Different frequencies.

My church back in Washington, Washington Cathedral, was the first church I ever found that felt like home to me. I think you should crack wide open in your church. You should be able to shed your armor and be vulnerable- that’s the best way to really hear God. I’m scared I won’t find it again.

I think our faith frequencies are like our fingerprints, deeply personal and unique. And when you think about it, MOST churches- not all, certainly, but most- are delivering the same message. It’s just a matter of finding the one that resonates with you.

I have two children, and I talk to them differently.  They are individuals, and the way I deal with one of them would not work with the other.  When I talk to my son, I talk to him in a way that he can hear me.  The same goes for my daughter- she needs me to be different with her.  Even if the basic messages are the same, I need to speak in each of their frequencies.

Might it not be the same thing with religions?  Because there is a difference between religion and faith.  I know plenty of religious people with little faith, and plenty of people of enormous faith and no religion.  The basic tenets of most faiths are the same, when you get right down to it.  Maybe God, our Father, just talks to us in the way He knows we can hear Him.

If we could all get to a place where we recognized that someone practicing their faith differently than we do isn’t an ATTACK, it doesn’t challenge our faith or our walk with God, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

Your path to God doesn’t threaten my path to God, and mine certainly does not threaten yours, friend.

We’ve all just got our eyes looking up while we’re fiddling with the Radio, desperate to hear Him.

13 Comments on “Tune in.

  1. Will you quit ripping stuff from my head and posting the happier sunshiney version of it? hah.

    I was one of those with faith but no religion. Faith that somehow things work out, a little pollyanna in my outlook, while also busily being anxiety-ridden and afraid (yes, apparently the two can coexist, go figure, huh?)

    The last two years, I’ve been exploring religion. Way outside the quasi-religious identification I was sort of raised with. As in jumping old to new testament outside.

    And I don’t know what I think. Some days, I feel, yearn, almost reach — and others, who knows.

    I had to first get over the idea lightning would strike just because I entered a church.

    But the stain on my soul? Haven’t expunged that yet.

    And if I approach belief, the (although I hate this word, this emotion) anger I might feel towards God, because i felt so alone, so abandoned, the first 18 years of my life? Well, that’s there, too.

    I said I turned my back on God because He turned His back on me first.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Part of what I need to figure out, though.

    Is there really a God, or is there just the need in us to believe in something more, and we invent Him? And how do you really know which is the truth?

    I’ve been doing a lot of grappling with that question the last two years.

    What you say about frequencies makes sense, though. I mean, assuming there is one, that would be logical. Why some people gravitate one way and other people another. I don’t thinkI could believe in a God that excluded half the world’s population because they aren’t following the “right” religion. Isn’t everyone just doing their best?

    Although the bible is full of when their best wasn’t good enough, so who knows.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I like your frequency analogy. I think it contains a lot of truth, although part of me says, “it’s a bit more complicated than that.” However, I’m not going to jump in and tell you ways I think this could be looked at differently because, a) that’s precisely not the point, and b) there will be plenty of others who will be doing that soon enough. And I’m sorry for how likely they are not to be kind about it.

    Maybe I’m not in a position to say anything, because my frequency has been jammed for more years than I like to think. I’ve been in this static-y place so long, and it was preceded by years of developing static….I can barely remember as far back as when I felt the greatest connection.

    How does one find the right-path-for-ME out of the static? Is it even possible when there is so much turmoil surrounding faith and religion these days? I have known for quite a bit of my life that those are two different entities, and I would so love to find someone — ideally, several someones — with whom I could talk things over and do some seeking and not be told “this is THE answer.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I like your way of saying “I would so love to find someone — ideally, several someones — with whom I could talk things over and do some seeking and not be told “this is THE answer.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • My frequency has been jammed for 46 years (funny, that’s my age!). Most of the time I ignored it, or wanted to do something about it but didn’t. Two years ago I wandered into a Methodist church, and it’s got a variety of people and thinking. — some of which I think could resonate with my frequency if I could ever fiddle with the nobs enough to have no static, that is. Or at least less static.

      But, I am enjoying the more active exploration I’m doing now (versus just passively wishing to know more) and I found a place that encourages questions, intellectual pursuit of knowledge, and very tolerant of doubts and different backgrounds. I never would have expected that in a church.

      Still don’t know what I think or believe, but at least I’m where I can share the discussion with a group of someone’s also honestly trying to hone their beliefs, and although there are a variety of places people are in their journey, they are tolerant of where I am. Which is crazy if you knew how much doubt I freely express now, once I learned I wouldn’t be booed from the table!

      Like

  3. “Desperate to hear Him”………YES.

    We were created desperate to hear Him, and the frequency he speaks on is there for all of us. Get where you can hear Him and listen. Tune out the noise of your life. May we all tune in frequently to His frequency. 😉

    Like

  4. My favorite sentence: “Conversations about faith are tricky, because people tend to confuse difference of opinion with combat.” Well said.

    Like

  5. “I think you should crack wide open in your church.” Man, do I love that. This is probably why I am anxious each Sunday when I attend church. I think (or I blame it on) it’s because we are stressed and in a hurry, or the kids don’t want to go, etc. etc. But it’s this sentence. It’s the expectation that I will crack wide open. That’s both exhilarating and terrifying.
    Great stuff, lady. It’d be fun to be one of those old church ladies with you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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