Coming Out

12 Jun

Tomorrow my church will be having their semi-annual baptism, in which congregants who choose to take this sacrament get baptized in the Bay. I was baptized as a baby in a Catholic church so when I first heard of this event, I have to admit I found it a little weird. “Have I joined a cult?” I asked myself somewhat in fear. Nonetheless – and almost like an investigative journalist, I felt compelled to find out more. 

At the time I joined this church, I had already flirted with religion my entire life. Raised Catholic, I rebelled against this upbringing in my teens but still felt fiercely drawn to something bigger than me. Then when I found myself living with a Moslem family in Indonesia, working in an orthodox Jewish nursing home and sitting with a Buddhist sanggha during my early adulthood, I realized I still was very much wired for faith of some nature. But for some reason, I was not drawn towards Christianity as an adult.

Until I stepped into Journey Community Church. Like finding the right mate at the right time, I walked into an experience of faith that changed me forever. Without a doubt much of this experience overlapped with my mother committing suicide at exactly the same time — a topic way too complex to get into at the moment. 

But suddenly I found myself in a Christian church thinking about this guy named Jesus removed from the political circus of history past and present. And I knew this was the beginning of something that was more than just a passing fancy.  This was the beginning of the rest of my life. So I decided to get wet. 

What happened in that process was profound yet simple. 1) I felt the Holy Spirit descend upon me touching me with love and a grounded sense of ecstasy;  2) I felt welcomed by a community in a way I had never experienced in my life before and 3) I knew that my intuitive beliefs that humans are to love and serve one another in the image of Christ were magnified exponentially. 

To proclaim my faith out loud is still a little difficult for me because of the bitter taste many people associate with religion. Related, I remember the first time I wore a cross necklace, wondering what kinds of stereotypes people would project onto me – the same as stereotypes are projected onto people of other faiths – all the time and unfairly so. Yet coming out in my faith was and is an important process. It is something uniquely mine  and not for me to push on someone else – and yet I gladly share it with anyone who is interested.

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