Are You There God? It’s Me, Deepdiva

My personal relationship with God can be best described as spiritual, but not quite religious.

I love and believe in God and know He’s the reason why I’m so blessed in my life. Since I confessed Christ at 14, I’ve been aware of His powerful presence, although being a mere mortal, I haven’t always heeded His word. Yet He is the one I cling to when I think things could get no worse and whom I thank when everything is going well.

I know in my life I have received my blessings tenfold and then some, but because I don’t attend church very often, some view me as not knowing the Lord.

As a matter of fact, my mother constantly grills me (it was probably just yesterday), about my non-attendance and sees it as a disinterest in my sanctity.

“Girl, you know you need to come on back to church,” she would fuss. “You don’t know how blessed you are, just to wake up every day. You better know where you blessings come from, and get right with the Lord.”

I agree with her. I am blessed. I have two still-married parents, a wonderful (but crazy) family, friends, my health and peace of mind most of the time. I do know where my life ends and begins. I acknowledge that there is a higher power at work that sustains and loves me unconditionally. But church as an entity, I’m not too crazy about.

Our family church is one I’ve attended before I even knew what the word “church” was. A house of worship that, like most black churches, has an illustrious and somewhat sordid past. It’s the place where I know most of the members, and they know me. But I’m at the age where I know that every member of the church ain’t sanctified, and there are cliques that have formed, even though we’re all one big congregation. The same people that can crucify a gay church member, but say they love the Lord in the next breath. And trust me, this is prevalent at most black churches you’ll attend. But sometimes, it just bothers me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling I get when I hear the foot-stomping choir or listen to a sermon that has meaning for me or just feel His spirit flowing through me at the altar call. But church is supposed to be about more than just getting the word; it’s also supposed to be about the fellowship with other members. And sometimes, not all the time, I just don’t feel that. I’m trying not to let it stop me from going, but it’s hard.

So I keep my religion where I know I’ll always have it, no matter what’s going on in the church: in my heart and soul. And that’s where no one can take it away.


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