June 09, 2013

The Chains on Your Heart

The heat yesterday was not record breaking for our area but, at 110, it was dang hot!

Some pretty wonderful women in my life had been planning our Saturday for a week. We were going to meet at the Sundial Bridge at 9 a.m. and walk the River Trail for an hour or so, head over to Dutch Bros for some iced coffee and then on to my house to swim.

Extreme heat beats out the best laid plans time and time again. but it still didn't beat us down. We skipped the walk, went straight to blended and iced coffee, fruit salad and lemon bundt cake, great conversation in the house and eventually, the pool. We dove, floated, jumped, laughed, talked and had an excellent day.

Now, using the phrase "excellent day" does not explain anywhere near how wonderful the sharing was, the gathering of women.  Words are so limited.  Maybe that's why I am so enamored with words and their roots, as if I am looking for a magical key that opens the mind to really, truly being able to "share" an experience or event.

The women gathered cover the spectrum of ideologies, religious, spiritual, conservative, liberal, moderate, Catholic, Protestant, herbivore, carnivore, old, young and older!

The seeds of an exchange of ideas that could have been miraculous or enlightening or just plain consciousness-expanding germinated several times. Quite often, though, it seemed that almost immediately, one woman or another, with the best of intentions, would beat the possibility of possibilities to death. Sadly, without actually holding the bible, it seemed to me, it was the use of the bible, or their understanding of the bible's teachings,  that was used to crush with more efficiency than Thor could ever have expected from his mighty hammer any sharing of "feelings" or different beliefs.

The women, sitting poolside, are all bound together through love. We are not offended, typically, when one of the more conservative, religious sisters crushes one of the other more "liberal" sister's questions or notions or beliefs with an obviously holy heel. Funny, though, how the more liberal or moderate sisters will smile and move on, never really expecting that her feelings or beliefs or even questions would be treated with the same respect or honor that we treat the conservative sisters thoughts and beliefs. There is an apparent entitlement and arrogance in being a fundamental Christian and conservative, it seems to me.

Funny, it is typically those conservative sisters who complain about the youth of today and their apparent "entitlement" issues the most!

After everyone left, my husband and I were sitting, enjoying the quiet. I shared with him how wonderful the day was. When you are surrounded with so many loving people, enjoying the activity and each other, one's cup is filled and, truly, "runneth over."

Now, my husband and I are a little micro-climate of the group of women that had been at the house. He is a conservative man who is a devout Catholic. I am of a more liberal bent and, while born, raised and a practicing Catholic, I relate more to the mystical side of the church and not the "rules" and "laws" of the Church.

He believes with everything in him that the Catholic Church is the church that Jesus created. Peter is the rock. He is horrified that Protestants took the bible and ripped out 6 books and tossed them aside in the 14 or 1500's. He is horrified that Luther changed some of the words in the bible and then created his own church on those words.  We both are extremely sad when our Protestant or Baptist friends make comments that belittle Catholicism without any understanding of the truth. They repeat what they have been taught by people who can't prove their "truth" without putting down another's "truth".  That is sad. (Note: We Catholics do not worship statues!  We did not add books to the bible! We do read the bible.)

So, my husband and I were talking about a couple of the conversations and how quickly some ideas or subjects were dispatched with the speed and efficiency of an assassin's bullet.

Our conversation, quickly and sadly, turned into a heated debate.

I was trying to explain to my husband how I "felt" as a girl, woman and older woman in our culture and how part of that "feeling-less-than" came not only from the secular aspects of our culture but also from some of the basics of being female in a Christian-patriarchal culture.

While I was trying to express my "feelings" my husband became incredibly defensive. And then, defensive of his defensiveness.....the mood and day spiraled into darkness.

Now, you all know that I digress, but follow me on this. It does lead back.

When you place a Chinese Beta Fish in a large aquarium; place a sheet of glass in the water to divide the space; the Beta Fish will learn what his space is. You can eventually remove the glass sheet and the Beta will not leave the space he has learned is his own. He will never spread his beautiful fins and venture into the water past his invisible barrier.

A baby elephant can be raised with one foot chained and the chain may be 15 feet long or 20 or 5. That baby will learn how far the chain allows her to move. You can pull the stake out of the ground and she will not venture even a foot more than she has learned are her limits.

I apologize to all of you who are going to be offended by my next statement because many of you will be offended.  In no way am I trying to be offensive, my intentions are from my heart and soul, I swear on a bible....

So, speaking of the bible.....May I share with you that the bible is a wonderful Primer. It is an awesome Dick and Jane book about God.  It is full of those things that introduce us to a Concept and a Being that is indescribable, undefinable and all those "UN" words of limits and limitations.

God cannot fit into that book, Catholic, Protestant, King James or New American Standard...it is an introduction. God is bigger than that book. I compare it to the word I tried to use to describe how wonderful the day around the pool was...words are inadequate to describe that which is not physical!

When someone you love is trying to express how they "feel" it is not an attack on your beliefs. It is an expression of emotions.

If defending your religion-of-choice becomes more important than actually trying to understand another human being's feelings or beliefs, then our world will continue to be buried in war, hunger, violence, poverty.

If you want to shut someone up from sharing an idea, if you are afraid of an idea that doesn't fit in your box, if you want to defend your little space of the aquarium or your well-trodden ground then I don't believe you get what Christ's message is or have the slightest clue about God.

When another human, who loves you, who honors you and your beliefs wants to share their thoughts and beliefs, just to share, not to change yours and you slam the moment down because it makes you uncomfortable, I will keep you in my prayers, that God will release the chains of your heart and break the limiting sheet of glass in your mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Please but Play Nice!