I know I am a writer.
But that is not how I classify my SELF. I am a daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, friend, writer, romantic, music/art/history and human lover, dog person, Russian sleeper agent, and government-registered hoarder. But above all, I am a human being.
It's one of my proudest attributes.
That's why, in addition of course, to my riveting authorly posts, I will be posting a few thoughts on human issues as well. Feel free to skip over them to the informative literary topics. ("I'm going to accept Shea's invitation to skip over the controversial philisophical subjects and read about Shea's irresistable manuscripts instead," said no one ever.)
My title is simple in this post. It tells the gist of what it will be about.
Psalm 103:12 "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."
Now, I don't throw scriptures out there like a lawyer throws out evidence. I am infamous for having many issues with the Bible in that I disbelieve in some of its teachings and portrayals of God and feel disconnected to many of it's passages, as I think many people do in this generation. First and foremost, I serve God and Jesus Christ but after that, rather than ANY book or church, I leave the rest up to the values of my heart -- which, after all, is God's greatest gift to us. In fact, I classify myself and my love-themed, humanistic spirituality as "LSV" - Liberated Spiritual Voyager. Catchy, isn't it?
But that does not mean I don't shiver at the beauty of many of the Bible's contents and find it a (usually) good guide and anchor for faith to grow from.
Going to the same Catholic mass for as long as I have, with a lovable Irish priest (direct from Ireland, accent and all, as every Catholic church should have at least one of), it's common that prayers become recitals; gestures dreamlike. I was in church the other day and looked around as I often do to try and gauge the people. How many are moved? How many are closing their eyes and taking their companion's hand? Alternatively, how many are counting the seconds until they are released with glazed eyes and how many are trying to convince themselves they are doing the righteous thing by willing themselves to sit in this pew?
It's always mixed. But I know both parties are there.
When I was younger, going to church with my family, I remember this line in particular, as almost all Catholics will.
“May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory
of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church.”
As an eight year old, I remember feeling like we were praying for so many people in that one sentence. The good of all of his Church. Logically speaking, that's about a billion Catholics.
Now, when I hear it, all I can think of are the five billion non-Catholics we, however innocently and unintentionally, exclude from that prayer.
I don't think we can love God without loving humanity -- grasping their hand without asking what their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or, in the midst of the elections, political party is. It would be like loving the artist but hating all his paintings.
There's a good argument for that, of course. You can love the artist as a person but find his paintings repulsive, just as you can look at God and say...what happened to your creation? Buildings burn, people starve. Hate permeates.
"I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability. " -- Oscar Wilde.
The other day was 9/11. Perhaps one of the best arguments for religion and humanity gone wrong. But if I might be so arrogantly bold as to quote my facebook status:
"Every year, I try to say something because I realized you can't stay silent. This year, I've decided what I will say is this. I admit that I am scared. Some things about being human scare me out of my mind. I'm scared of what we can do and I'm scared of what we CAN'T do. I'm scared of those last seconds before the end. The same ones so many people had to face on this day, their last words, of all they could have chosen, being "I love you." I still can't believe that I was here; conscious and breathing and safe when so many people weren't that day. I spent today just watching people pass by and fighting the overwhelming urge to embrace them. But in my seventeen years, I have been convinced of something entirely. The greatest joy we will ever find in this life is the brush with another soul. Stranger or friend.
Today, we brush with 3000 of them.
So yes, I'm scared. But as those firemen, response teams, passengers, and victims know, fear has no relation to courage. I would do it all again because I am honored, speechless, and yes, breathless that I am one of you. That I'm part of your humanity.
I love you all so much.Remember that on this day. And pray each one of them closed their eyes and were caught in His arms. May He catch us too."
(Sorry, I'm ALSO a videographer on TOP of being a writer, artist, musician, cook, and philosohper. So here is my tribute video regarding that day which I am humbly proud of, if you are interested).
"...You have never spoken to a mere mortal." -- C.S. Lewis.
So how do you measure the east from the west? How do we measure humanity's faults with humanity's goodness? This is what the scripture is saying. You can't. Because they are not compatible. They do not coexist in the same realm. And while I do believe there is darkness in all of us -- a darkness that we almost need to understand how we feel about it in the world -- we are 100% meant for goodness. We are simply pieces of love, encased by the body. Humanity is a virtue that we ARE. Humanity doesn't have faults. Humanity has sin.
The earth has two oppostie poles, north and south. If you were to travel in either, eventually you would hit one of the poles and change direction. But the east and the west....can it be measured?
I leave you with this. Thanks to Laura for listening to my spiel first. And God bless you all on this beautiful Sunday night.