Pixelated

When I first saw the background to my page, I was upset. I had found this beautiful picture of stained glass windows with figures of the faith painted in exceptional detail, but when I opened up my page, instead it appeared I was looking at the First Church of Tetris. I began searching for another picture, frustrated that this one would go to waste. Then I started thinking. Isn’t this the experience so many of us have had with faith?

You see a beautiful picture with the light shining through, illuminating it to reveal the pure enlightenment contained within. Just when you fully appreciate its value, suddenly you are staring at images that form no coherent scene, that do not speak to you beyond anything that is trivial or archaic. Where you once saw beauty, now it is distorted with no resemblance to the masterpiece it once portrayed.

This was my experience with faith and I have heard it echoed in the stories of others. The loss of what one held so sacred, so certain, so clear to something so murky, so questionable brings with it great grief. Often those enduring this loss have done so in great pain brought by the hands of those they once thought would hold their arms in the battle when they no longer had the strength to go on. Instead they feel shot in the back, left to bleed alone.

Maybe you, like me, are staring at a pixelated faith, trying to see the greater picture, trying to decide if you can see anything. Maybe you have been hurt. Maybe that grief still walks with you day to day.

I want to encourage you, that just like my background, I believe this is a distortion of the real thing. The masterpiece still remains, yet it cannot fit on this page. Its beauty has not been changed, but rather our view of it, by those that tried to fit it down to size.

So I ask you, what beauty was it that spoke to you? What distortions have pushed you away? But most importantly, what is the one step you can take on your journey of healing today?

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10 thoughts on “Pixelated

  1. I loved the way you expressed your experience with the Christian church through your analogy. It fits so well 😀 And it expresses something that is so very true. I …. and I have said this to people in my own church… I find that I learned more about Christ, and the truest beginnings and history of the faith, during my year at Augustine, than I ever would have gotten in church. And this very point, the distortion of the faith by the modern church, was covered early, thoroughly and often. The teachings and the life of Christ have become pixelated and distorted over time. And the problem with that is that as we distort who Christ is, we make it less and less possible to become people who reflect His character. The tragedy there is that, in the part of the world quickest to call itself Christian, we are either fine with that as a culture, or fail to see that that’s what we’re allowing to happen. And that could be said of any faith. Once you allow the truth of the example that has been set for you to become distorted, faith is never the same, because the basis for that faith in the first place, is no longer there. 😦

    So well spoken!

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  2. My shattered faith in humanity distorted the beautiful power of love, which is where my eternal faith and devotion to God lies. I cannot understand how pain and suffering still exists in a world where the cure to it all permeates every aspect of our existence. And because I fail to understand, I felt rage, anger, and fear. For a time these negative aspects ruled my perception of the world and the spiritual forces connected to its balance and life. For a time negativity ruled my life. And I lived in darkness, completely devoid of loving happiness.

    The step I took was embracing the positive side of life and ignoring the negative. I can’t change what is, I can only change how I define it and how I use those definitions to color my life. I can’t will away negative experience, they will always happen. But I can refuse to give power to a bad incident to negatively affect my future. People will be people. People will do things I think suck. People will also be people. People will also choose to do things I wholeheartedly support. I choose to give the latter my love am attention and forget the rest of the garbage that came before.

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  3. The beauty of Christianity spoke to me as a child of a meaningful and loving relationship with the world and the people around me. Then I grew up and my awareness of history and the suffering that had taken place because of the Christian church led me to doubt everything I had once believed. Your description of feeling shot in the back, left to bleed alone sounds about right.

    Nowadays I try to let go of the hurt however I can: through meditation, listening to music, writing inspirational poetry, going to UU, whatever will uplift me each day. The hurt persists, though, I won’t lie. Sometimes I feel like a former cult member. Each day I encounter vestiges of the old thought patterns that I must deprogram. At the same time, I don’t want to completely devalue the myths and legends I grew up on. Myths are a powerful source of inspiration. They just need to be understood as stories and not mistaken for external reality.

    And just to end on a lighter note: I can totally see myself becoming a member of the First Church of Tetris! 🙂

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  4. I am so taken back reading this by the similarities. I also listen to music and write poetry as spiritual experiences and identify as UU, though I don’t attend. I definitely think the church of my youth puts me in “former cult member” territory, though I was fortunate to find a great church prior to my ultimate faith crisis that has helped prevent me from seeing the whole faith through the lens of my earlier experiences. If I ever pioneer Tetrisism, I’ll let you know 😛

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  5. the word religion has caused the stained glass of my inner temple to become very hazed over. The church that she refers to actually took on a cultish form in several ways. I think that most religions have their good points and some people who devoutly follow their doctrine. I have a very hard time when a denomination comes out with hate speech against a certain group of people. how is that in any way loving your neighbor? Everyone was taught the Golden Rule in school or church but I am amazed at how few actually adhere to the principle of fairness that it teaches.

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  6. Amen, Daddy. I keep thinking of how many sermons I heard against verses how many I heard for. And something happens when you pour yourself into something like that and give it all you’ve got and then one day see all the cracks. It changes something within.

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  7. Religion has left a bad taste in my mouth that I can’t seem to find the right mouthwash for. Organized religion has become an oxymoron to me, because in most cases it’s definitely not organized and in a lot of cases it should not even be called a religion to begin with. I will always have my faith to guide me through my days and nights, but I have pretty much given up on allowing myself to ascribe to any formal religion. It’s just not worth the heartache and the BS that you have to put up with to be a member in that particular group.

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