My Christian mind, also called “here is where God fits in”.
I was brought up Christian (baptized Methodist, confirmed Episcopalian, raised in a congregation that thought it important to teach it’s youth about other religions and cultures).
After the birth of Ems in 2001, I began to see the ENTIRE world in a whole new light (that seems to be something that happens to first-time mothers).
In an instant of holding this girl, I was filled with miracles of which I knew nothing about, some wonderful thing had happened, taken hold inside of me and created this magnificent creature from nothing and it all happened with no control of my own. Right there proved the existence of God to me, more than any number of years sitting in church, Scriptures, hymns, you name it.
As much as I loved God, the messages I was getting from the church could not coincide with the feelings I had about life, love and the world.
But, I believe in God. I need God. We have some pretty crazy conversations somedays, some more filled with anger, some more filled with thanks. God seems to be everywhere I look. The sun, the moon, the girls, the trees, the plants unfurling, the winds blowing, the dog at my feet. I don’t know what God is. God seems to take so many forms for so many people. What God is most is a reason to live, a reason to believe, a reason to go on. What I know of God resides in that still, quiet place in my heart. The Quakers believe that God is available to anyone, that you should just be quiet and listen to that still place.
But for me most of Christianity was still an “all or nothing” game. If you were not “one of us” you were “one of them”. There was no place there for my Muslim friend, for my gay friend, for all the people of the world that were not Christian, for if we could not love ourselves as we were, if we could not find a love or a common bond with EVERYONE, how could we ever conquer the hatred that so often consumes this world. Because just as bringing a child opens you up to the miracle of life, so too does it instill in you a sense of the danger that lurks around every corner. Ems was born in April 2001, and was a small, vulnerable package of sweetness when the September 11th attacks happened. If there was ever a time that needed a message of love and inclusiveness that was it.
That was when I found the Quaker philosophy, perhaps the most loving and inclusive of all the Christians, and Buddhism, the flip side of my coin, the other half to my whole.