Yes, I am a Christian; but, no, I don't believe in organized religion. I consider myself spiritual but not in a some new age way. I pray, I meditate, I commune with God and myself. I believe in the power of love and of acceptance. No, I can't reconcile the theory of creation and carbon dating. Yes, I believe in the Bible but I know that there are flaws on the pages within. I know enough to know that man wrote the Bible, man chose what books to include and man translated it. That leaves a lot of room for error. I know that there were other texts that could have been included but for whatever reasons they were excluded. I don't know that I believe that as long as a person utters the correct words right before they die that the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. I don't believe that it's blasphemous to read the Qur'an, the Gospel of Mary, the Tao Te Ching, the Gospel of Judas, other books of prophecy, books about Buddha and other books of heresy. I don't know what happens when we die as I haven't died yet.
I know that when I was diagnosed with a lifelong, chronic, neurological condition that required brain surgery my life came to an abrupt, screeching halt. Everything I knew about life changed. I found that I felt like an utter failure. If I could no longer contribute to society what was my value as a person. This set me forth on a journey to find the meaning of life. I wasn't searching for the meaning of life itself; but, the meaning of my life. I didn't turn to church, although I occasionally went. I didn't turn to Bible, although I read it. I turned inward. I learned to be still. I learned to stop questioning everything. I learned that I don't have to have the answers. My responsibility is to love everyone equally and to spread a message of acceptance. I don't believe that God is a vengeful God. I don't believe that God let's bad things happen. I believe that life is cruel and bad things happen to good people. I don't believe that my illness is retribution for some wrongdoing. Everyone has shortcomings in life. Mine just happens to be health.
The soapbox pulpit today is to tell the world (or anyone that reads this blog) that I love you. I don't care about the color of your skin, the beliefs in your heart, the thoughts in your head or the persons in your bed. It's my pleasure to get to know you as a person and to learn something beautiful from you. I know some amazing, wonderful, crazy people from all walks of life. They are all wondrous people who can teach me valuable lessons in love, acceptance and redemption. There are even lessons to be learned from those individuals from which we must walk away. Sometimes a lesson in tough love for those we care about can be the most difficult to learn. It's a lesson I'm still learning. My illness has allowed me to strip myself bare of preconceived notions. It has caused me to lay my soul open wide for the world to see.
I am not perfect. You are not perfect. That's okay. There is beauty in the differences. Just because someone does not share your heritage, your religion, or your beliefs doesn't mean they have nothing to offer us. Quite the contrary, they have the most to offer because they can teach us more about ourselves. So the next time you think you should dislike someone, give yourself a chance to connect with them. See what enlightenment they can offer you. You'll never know what you might find.
I am stepping down from my Soapbox Pulpit. Thanks for hearing me out. Thanks for letting me introduce you to my brand of love.