I went to that church because I was curious about it and heard that it was a tight knit community; that they were a spiritual group. I am searching for a community and I had high hopes for this one. But when they broke out the Bible, I shut down. I don't know why. Perhaps it is because I can't get myself to take it literally. It is a text of stories; I write stories, I know how they can become altered through the fictional tendencies of the mind. I don't believe God put a hand up to stop these fictional tendencies. I do believe there are some worthy allegories and parables, but many have almost become tiresome. I am learning that I feel closer to God just saying a few words in my mind, not making sense of an allegory. I'd rather reach God through my imagination than dogma, as Emily Dickinson did. I've been teaching Dickinson in my Comp II class and I've felt this kinship with her. This poem, in particular, reached me.
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236)
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –
Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.
So I told this to a friend one day, this conclusion I had reached; I also told her I felt guilty about it. There is that old Christian belief that the devil is the one keeping you from God. But that wasn't the case here. The devil isn't keeping me from God if I don't feel comfortable in a church. It just means that church isn't for me. My friend responded, "Yes. You have to feel entitled to your own life. Not someone else's life." And that made a lot of sense.