A missionary friend of mine shared on Facebook some of her frustrations yesterday. “I feel like I’m not doing enough, because I’m just home with the kids while my husband works in the ministry,” she wrote. “But then my little girl [age 3.5 years] took out her Bible and asked me again why they killed Jesus.”
Okay, had to stop there for a sec. What horrible, horrible imagery for a THREE year old. OMG thats so frightening and terrible. But that’s just the beginning of the beginning.
My friend went on to explain how she told her girl how Jesus had to die for our sins.
Okay stop there again. WTF. I get it, I *get* it, I grew up with that. But, from an outside-of-Christianity perspective now, does anyone else get how absolutely TERRIBLE this is to teach someone??? Let alone a child??? “You are so terrible they had a KILL and TORTURE and SACRIFICE a man for you!!!” Do you know what this does to the human psyche?? I feel sick.
The mom continued. “I overheard her say a very heartfelt prayer in her bedroom, asking God to make her heart clean and take away the bad things in her heart.”
The moral of her story: See, she is doing lots of great things for the kingdom of god even in her own home because she’s teaching her kids what terrible people they are that they have to pray to the man that was tortured and killed for them so that they can be seen as okay enough to pray to him in the first place.
My friend is a decent person. More than that. Their family has been some of the very few people I can look back on the mission field where we served and say “hey, yeah, they are actually making a difference in the lives of hurting people.” I respect them. But this doctrine?? It’s GOT to go. But it won’t. Ever. Not as long as Christianity still digs its claws into humanity.
Her story was so disturbing to me that I carried it with me the entire rest of the day. And then I started thinking about myself, which is how my thoughts usually turn. I am sorry ALL the time you guys. Like, so sorry that I get anxiety just thinking about going out in public. Which I do, all the time, because I love “being out.” But the ENTIRE time, I feel like I am just making a mess of disturbances for everyone around me and everyone secretly hates me and wants me to leave.
“Sorry about my toddler, I’ll go get her.
“Sorry I left my cart in the way, let me move it.
“Sorry we bumped into you.
“Sorry she grabbed that breakable thing.
“Sorry she’s making a ruckus.
“Sorry she tried on all the shoes! I promise we’ll put them back.
“Sorry my baby’s crying.
“Sorry we took so long crossing the parking lot.
“Sorry we took so long getting into the car, I know you were waiting for our spot.
“Sorry my girl doesn’t want to get buckled in.
“Sorry I dropped my purse!
“Sorry I didn’t go quickly enough at that green light and now you have to wait behind me.
“Sorry I cut you off, I didn’t mean to.
This is just a tiny slice of what goes on in my head, if not said out loud, while I’m in public. I feel like I’m always making mistakes and will someday be exposed for the horrible fraud of an adult that I am.
This sounds melodramatic, and I know logically I’m being just that. But the thoughts are real. And I have to wonder how much of it is sourced from the drilling into my emotions, my psyche, my identity for 26 years that told me that me, on my own, I am terrible person worthy to be burned in hell forever. That me, without the blood of a tortured man covering me, am never, ever enough. They had to whip and rip and spike and nail-to-a-cross a man that otherwise had nothing to do with me so that I could at least sleep well at night knowing that if I happened to die while in dreamland, I wouldn’t wake up in the burning lake of fire. Because without his blood, I’d be less than nothing.
I think I have to stop there for a minute and let my emotions catch up. This is heavier than I imagined prior to writing. I have a lot of tears and anger for my own self that need to be released before I start a deeper analysis of the effects that this has on larger people groups and society as a whole.