fear, sanctuary and faith at nautilus teachings

we have all felt scared,
we know what fear is.
what do you do
and where do you go
to feel safe?
it is easy to hide
when we are small
darkness is definitely
your friend
especially if you are
dressed in black…
yet when you hide
what is it you are
trying to avoid
not see
or camouflage yourself from?
is it you?
the ones you love?
who and what
makes you want to
disappear?
i love to hide,
always have.
it may be my introverted self
that enjoys it so much,
the fact that i do not
have to communicate
or participate
in any one thing
i do not wish to do…
or maybe it was just bred in me,
that from birth
i needed a hard shell
to protect me
from the brainless
toe headed twits
who were supposed
to love me,
keep me safe
yet decided-
that was NOT happening-
EVER…
i know my mother put
the word out
from day one,
“sheri is not to be touched…”
by the time i was three
my memory started
and today i still wonder
what makes a 6 and 9 year old child
decide,
‘she’s fucked!
we are going to make her life hell?’


protection.
safety.
sanctuary.
hideaway.
shelter.
no matter what you
decide to label it
it
is
yours.
my mother always taught me,
“sher, no matter where you go
you are always safe in church sanctuaries..”
i remember driving many a roads
as a young adult
getting lost
snow or rain storms hitting
fleeing a volatile situation
or just feeling alone
there was always
a lit steeple
with mosaic colored windows
and inside
warmth
acceptance
forgiveness
love.
i always felt at home
inside a church
always knew someone
would listen to me
hold me
comfort me…
on a few occasions
they even held out their hands
and said,
‘with me you are safe…come…’
my mentors from age 11 on
were both pastors
one even became a father figure to me…
after spending my first 42 years
running to my faith for help
embedding God’s love
upon my soul
my mentor died
and
i
left
the
church…


i never left my faith
i left religion.
when i did this
my fears
began subsiding.
weird?
maybe, for bible thumpers
and devout christians
but for me,
no.
when i no longer felt the pressure to
flock to a weekly
scripture reading
i turned inward
letting my faith guide me.
i began listening
and speaking to God
all the time
every day,
and He spoke volumes…
i know one day
i will go back to sunday service
because
it is home…
but right now
my life is centering on
reading scripture
multiple daily devotions
yoga
meditation
and healing
every inch of me…
i am learning about
other foundations
of belief-
embracing some
and tossing the rest aside…
i know i can never recreate
the safety or church family
of my youth
and this saddens me…
i am a traditionalist…
i want a pastor in a robe
to crack open the hymnal
and sing familiar songs
i want to sit
in reverence
in a wooden pew
and spill out
everything
to God…


today
churches have rock bands
and some pastors
don’t wear robes
they have big tv screens
for your hymns
and to me
people are losing
what i deem as
an integral part
of worship-
tradition
rituals
routine…
my husband is
a devout catholic-
it’s one of the things
i love most about him,
his commitment to his faith…
once or twice a year
i go with him
but i find it utterly confusing
why they need to
drag out everything
to such lengths…
their is one father
i love listening to
his words paint pictures
in my head,
he is kind
loving
and heads up
all the kids…
he does not bore me
he entertains me
makes me smile
and i can imagine
sitting with him
and learning faith
at his knee
like i did with pastor bill
growing up…
faith is what grew me
what fills up all my moments
what comforts me.
i come from faith
was born into it
and have swung happily from
it’s long life giving vines for all my life…
fear.
do i still have it?
am i breathing?
yes.
but now
i face it
challenge it
i look it in the eye
and say,
“bring it on!”
all the while knowing
that the safest place
i can ever be
is surrounded
by my faith,
and guess what?
wherever i am
so is my faith.