Religious Baggage

A United Church Minister, my age surprising to find, gave me three hours of his holiday time to meet with me in his office. For the first time in years I told him my story, the ins and outs of my relgious past and how I ran from it all and found paganism as a result. He listened with such an open heart, making me feel safe and welcomed.

I told him everything about my journey towards Christian Ministry and the abuse I experienced: the time Baptist Youth Leaders tried to cast demons out of me, how my pastor asked me when I was sixteen if I was still a virgin, about when I was 12 on a youth outreach how the leaders got mad at me because I wasn't 'winning enough converts to Christ" about the wierd sexual behaviour of the christian young men I dated and was friends with. All about the judgement and criticism I recieved when I asked questions and I told him about how lost and deeply depressed I had been when I was supposed to have had"the truth". (besides, shouldn't the 'truth'set you free?).

I told him all about my parting years and about the addictions I ended up dealing with as a result, and the unevitable divorce. I told him about the sweet voice I had heard in my darkest hour and the feelings of peacefullness and love that washed over me and how tears fell from my face as I felt an energy I hadn't felt in years flood over me.

I told him about my pagan ways and my understanding of the earth and how we are so connected to it. I told him I was not a Christian and would never again call myself that. . although I lived a more christian life than most Christians. I told him,I was more pagan than anything,if I had to call myself something. (I hate titles).

He asked if he could pray with me. Something no one had asked to do with me in years and at first I felt very strange and even a tad uncomfortable, but I allowed him to and I closed my eyes out of respect for this strange and yet beautiful gift. I dont remember what he prayed but I do remember the feeling of hot tears rolling down my face.

At the end of our visit he said, sooner or later we all need a safe place to unpack our religous baggage.

He encouraged me to consider taking an upcoming class that he was facilitating offered by the United Church called, Living the Questions.It changed my life.

Practical Spirituality is an extension of that experience and all that I recieved and learned from my walk with this minister who became a friend.

I had had no idea how much I had been carrying around with me for so many years and of how much I needed to let go of.


  1. It is such a beautiful thing when we able to let go. Our hands and hearts grow tired from holding on.. and it's often strange the people who come into our lives to listen.

  2. I read a quote recently that was inspiring:

    "Be yourself. Be brave. Everyone is desperately insecure."

    How true that is! We all have "our issues." But we really need is COURAGE to be brave.


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