In November of 2008 one of my best friends, my soul-sista became an ancestor at the young age of 18. 9 year, death, rebirth, transformation. This event changed my life forever. It compelled me to rethink all I had been taught and told about the God of Christianity. See, Vonne was definitely frowned upon by the bougiest of Christians, but did she give any fucks? Not one. She lived her life to the fullest that she could with what she was given. Oh, how I loved her for it. What I love so much about Vonne is how honest and carefree she was. She loved. That’s it, no conditions. If she loved you, consider yourself blessed. I definitely do.
My sista’s ascension was a pivotal moment in my spiritual transformation. After she passed on, I could not wrap my mind or spirit for that matter, around a religion that told me that she would not be accepted by God. From her life experiences and what I had been taught my entire life, my theological upbringing began to experience a major conflict. The God of my Christian upbringing apparently said that no one would be accepted in “Heaven” if they did not (1) accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and (2) live a virtuous life according to their doctrine and teachings (repent, submit, etc.). I remember struggling with these concepts, thinking, “IS Vonne going to Heaven?? Will I see her there?? I know she did this and that, but she was good person…” Yet all that I had been taught was that it wasn’t enough to simply be a good person in the Christian God’s eyes, you HAD to do these previous two things, or else…
During Divinity School, I studied under a brilliant theologian named E. Frank Tupper. He authored a theology book called A Scandalous Providence: The Jesus Story of the Compassion of God—a life changing perspective on the providentially of God, stating rather boldly that God limits God’s self in interacting with humanity therefore God CAN’T intervene. (seriously read the book-available on Amazon ). Well it shouldn’t be surprising that the subject of my sista’s passing which had been heavy on my heart for many years, was the focus of my final essay in the course.
Some reflections I had during this essay include:
– TW, M.DIV
“These feelings have caused a lot of guilt for me now. I regret that I considered not being her friend when all she ever did was love me enough to be mine.”
Before Divinity school, I had no idea that faith-filled humans had the right to question God, or rather what we had been taught about God. Indeed I found in my actions of questioning the religious establishment, which was created in order to control people, was a true act of faith. In finalizing my essay, the most profound overstanding I realized that Goddess interacts with us exactly when and how we need Her the most:
“Now as I cry this paper out all I can do is wish she were here. Wish she could have gotten passed the shitty life she had been given. More than I can continue to question where is the providence in all of this. Where is providence in anyone’s life? I now realize that God’s providence was not in my birth, not in my survival from extreme hardships. God’s providence showed up at a time in my life that I needed most. In the form of a loudmouthed, outgoing, no-nonsense girl who loved so crazy, that she befriended… me. “– TW, M.DIV
Recently, a friend asked me, “When did you start to turn away from Christianity?” I thought for a moment and answered something in the vein, that it’s not that I have necessarily “turned away from Christianity” rather I have expanded my faith and spirituality which includes, but is not limited to Christianity or any other religion. I aim to live a life that embodies many, if not all, of the vast, unique, holistic, universal, unconditional, all-encompassing Oneness of The Divine Creative Forces.
And to this journey we say,
Reflections, revelations and reevaluations such as these, changed my life forever. These are the makings of a Theologian.