Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bring on the Light

Yes, Easter is this coming Sunday.  The celebration to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ.  The day when Roman Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate with other believers the most significant day of the church calendar.  "Christ is risen!" and "Christ is risen, indeed."

I celebrate that day.  As a believer, still, I am glad for a time to include the symbols of new life and sing Alleluia, as well as make carrot cake and watch kids hunt for eggs.  I take seriously the gift of Communion, and I feel grateful for the forgiveness of sin.  I'm a Christian, and I believe in celebrating this day.

  My former husband, Ray, wrote extensively about transformation, which is symbolized wonderfully in his songs.  Our hearts are to be made into the likeness of Christ where Paul wrote: 
 Romans 12:2 "be transformed by the renewing of your minds",

Jesus himself taught his disciples to love God and love others:
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Ray continually sang of that change.

 Because of Easter and the fact that Ray's music often is highlighted for church celebrations (i.e. "Watch the Lamb" and others) that I've seen an increase in the hits of this blog.  (Heavens to betsy, I hardly even write any more!) as well as long e-mails trying to set me on the right path.  Some question if I remain a Christian.  No problem.  I understand that I've made myself public and fairly transparent, and for that reason, people can easily contact me and say what they will.  Anyone can ask what they will.  All of that is fine with me, and I don't harbor ill feelings toward others.  It's just that they don't see the light from my window.

From the place where God put me, I changed my heart (emotions) as well as my mind (thoughts), and I believe that God brought me to the point where I am.  God always knows the outcomes of lives, and I know that I have trusted God since I was very young.  When Ray "came out" to us (me and our four grown kids), I was a fundamentalist Christian, even if I was not the most conservative one.  Since that time I have changed - really, really changed. There is still a lot to sort, and I still have many, many questions. 

But I do have my own window, and I do know what I know.  If anything has made me see the light of Christ more fully, it's the fact that I had to be more inclusive in how I see God/Jesus, the Light of the World, and upon whom that Light is shining.  And I believe it shines on us ALL.

Happy Easter.


jvzdutch said...

Carol: I love this statement from you:

"From the place where God put me, I changed my heart (emotions) as well as my mind (thoughts), and I believe that God brought me to the point where I am. God always knows the outcomes of lives."

I firmly believe that if we never change and grow in our walk with Christ, then we ultimately become less than who God created us to be. In fact, as you say, if we don't grow and change, we never fulfill the Shema.

And we never choose to change and grow the way we do. All we can do is make ourselves open to whatever God wants to do in us, and then watch him work. The end result will be NOTHING like what WE thought it would be, but it is what God has planned for us. And that's his best.

Karen said...

A beautiful post. Even though you are not writing as much I keep checking back because when you do have one I always am glad I have read it.

"Sir" said...

I enjoy your writings and your insights. Keep on keeping on.

(Sir: formerly Doorman-Priest.)

Carol said...

Thank you, Sir Doorman! Nice to re-connect w/you. :) I don't get a lot of time to write these days, but I do start a lot of unedited pieces. Maybe sometime I'll get re-ignited on my blog to get some of those finished.

Maggie said...

Always love to see something from you. You have such insight and love. I still can't forgive my ex-husband for what he's done to himself and his family. He tries to blame the divorce on me -- like I made him gay and promiscuous. Thank goodness for my wonderful family, friends and church.

Carol said...

Maggie - You are truly blessed to have those family and friends and church folks alongside you for support. That is really cool. Thanks for checking in. :)

Ste said...

I constantly find hope in your blog posts. thank you so much for putting your thoughts down for the masses as your particular "window" is a much needed thing as far as vantage points.

Many folks speak on things that they have never encountered, and never really look at it from our particular viewpoint until it affects them on a personal level. I loved the language you used in this particular post.

and btw, happy belated mother's day!

Becky Banks Gray said...

Carol, Your comments as Easter approached were so beautiful. Christ's sacrifice was for each individual, which might be said like you did, He gave us each our window.

My window, like yours, includes seeing the world differently after my husband of 17 years disclosed he is gay. We've been divorced for 5 years now yet continue to live in the same city to raise our sons, 21 and 16. We attended worship together on Easter with our 21 year old son, beaming with pleasure and humility as our 16 year old son played trumpet. My ex-husband's partner sat on the pew along with us.

I was comfortable in my new view until the recessional for that blessed Easter Sunday began. The organ heralded Christ's new life and brought me tears as I listened to the same moving piece that was played as the recessional at my wedding in 1988 (Toccata by Widor). How different the world looks through my teary window today, made more bittersweet as I caught eyes with my ex-husband who shares the painful new reality our family lives in and acknowledged my personal pain with a nod. Afterward I shared with our sons the significance of the organ piece and that it made me cry because periodically I still feel sad that dad and I are divorced, even though we're doing okay. When our conversation ended, we walked into the restaurant to meet their dad, his partner and his partner's daughter for lunch together.

It's a big, wide window that's been opened for us. I'm grateful to walk it alongside you and other brave women.


Carol said...

Becky, this is a beautiful entry. You have captured just a part of the bittersweet. I know that "nod" from your ex says more than words can tell. I hear you, and Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are an incredible person, Carol. Thanks for what you are doing for GLBT folk everywhere. I keep butting my heads against church administrations, but I know the heart of change is in the individual, not the corporate committees of church. Churches, by design, are made to be conservative, and to uphold traditions, even the liberal ones! But individuals walk on a precipice of change every day, willing to leap to another path and still keep their direction going forward, going true. You give me so much hope! Thanks!

Deborah E said...


Your post brings me close to tears... I will probably get to the tears part when I finish typing this! Thank you, for what you write. The Jesus that I love, and who saw me through pain as a child, is One who loves, and loves, and loves, more than I could ever comprehend. I think our part is easy, it is to love. Thank you for sharing!

-Deborah E