And I thought Jesus would come before I turned 30! I’ve more than doubled that projected year, and the thought of Jesus’ return is no longer troubling for fear of my friends and loved ones (unrepentant and unsaved) missing the gloryland boat. And no longer anticipated for my personal translation into a heavenly body–able, willing, and eager to sing with the angel choir for 10,000 years! No, quite to the contrary,. When I think of how much I would’ve missed out on had my holiness preacher’s prophesying come true, I praise my lucky stars and the gravity that keeps me grounded that no matter how intensely you believe or perpetuate a myth, the reality of what is just keeps on keeping on–waking, sleeping, waking, sleeping, and all the life that happens in between as the seasons turn around again and again–summer, fall, winter, spring. And here we are planting, hoeing, harvesting our way into another summer. And here I am only a week from celebrating–Yes! Celebrating!–my 68th anniversary of spiraling down the birth canal and gulping my first lungful of this planet’s precious oxygen! And celebrating that I’m not into my third or fourth decade of singing praises to the god of my youth, who seemed to be (more often than not) angry, vindictive and a card-carrying member of the “tough love” society.
In my defense, I didn’t know any better back in the 50s and 60s. Of course I believed in my parents’ god, my teachers’ god, my preacher’s god! My world was small, secure, all that I knew. My imagination for anything different feared hell too much to risk breaking through those fundie walls. Ah, but thank God or Dog, or maybe Toad and Frog, or common sense and holes, lots of huge, crawl-throughable holes in the fence that kept me bound far longer than seems reasonable from this side of that fence, for my escape from fundamentalist dogma and, more importantly, I think, my discovery of this great big beautiful world in all its diversity. My discovery of love big enough to include everyone at the dinner table, or in the manger in that long ago stable, and not insist upon one size fits all, one faith suits all, one nation (under God!) with justice and liberty for all.
Is that the last line of the Pledge of Allegiance? Justice and liberty? Or is it liberty and justice? Either way it’s a farce to anyone who has struggled or still struggles year after year to put food on the table, pay the rent, make a better way for their kids, prove they’re worthy (ready, steady and prepared as much as anyone can be prepared) to walk through fire if need be for that liberty and justice. And why does it have to be so hard for some when it’s handed to others on a silver platter? And how in the world did I get here from the Second Coming of Jesus, the Rapture, the end of time as we know it? Ah… myths, I was talking about myths. And this liberty and justice for all myth is one that I do wish could blossom into reality by the very act of placing hand over heart and repeating, day after day, as the seasons turn around again and again. Yes, I was talking about myths….
thank god and dog
toad and frog
my lucky stars
and holey fences
Glenda Breeden for the Poplar Grove Muse