As a young child growing up, I can remember my Mother faithfully taking all us kids to church every Sunday morning. I remember the feeling of what I referred to then as “righteous holiness” as soon as we opened the doors to the entry way of the sanctuary. I also remember that who we were before stepping into, through the doors, ceased to exist and we became what was expected of us as our feet touched that holy foundation.
I grew up in the Anglican Church, a branch off the Roman Catholic makings of centuries past. Where expectations, symbolisms, specific rituals were significantly present within the service. Silence was adamantly adhered to, you knelt when you prayed and cantered religious responses whether by verse or passage which were initially led by an official representative of the church. I can remember within this stifled code of silence, as a child, as I stared upon the stained glass windows or the enormous cross erected within the holiest part of the sanctuary, wondering why they represented God as one who was without passion, a task master -one to be feared. That to avoid the “wrath” of God one must be obedient and submissive, (not challenging in thought) -for surely if you were not then the hell gates of fire was obviously your destination.
I remember sitting there in church feeling unworthy, dirty, non-acceptable for surely week by week I knew I had not only broken but thrown God’s rules back in His face. Whether by my thoughts of perhaps anger toward a sibling or by not telling the whole truth ( for fear of the consequences) or merely by my own inner confusion of being not satisfied with what I felt in my heart God was like in comparison to what I was being taught. Especially by others who were much older and wiser in their walk with God than I.
I can remember thinking that after all “they must surely know” for I am a mere child, ignorance with age, what did I know! It seemed a lifetime of struggle for me back then (remember as a child the perception of time is never accurate) until God himself reminded me of not only who He truly is, but also to whom I truly am-HIS Daughter!
Compassionately, with the tender loving heart of a true Father He would spend time with me, He would walk with me. Telling me in song and by words, or by showing me the beauty of the world surrounding me, His love for me. His love for everyone who truly wanted to know Him-which is His hearts desire. Together we would walk miles and talk and talk and talk. We talked about everything-absolutely everything-but most importantly we talked about what it means to have a relationship with Him. What He truly is like, which was not how He was being presented or portrayed to me Sunday after Sunday. We talked about the sadness within my heart and within His for all His children. He was, He is my confidant.
There were so many “best times” for me through out all these years that there is not enough ink within my quill to write them all down.
The most important one I would have to say, would want to share would be this:
God so desires to hear each one of us call out His name, seeking Him. That He doesn’t care about what you have or have not. What you have done or are thinking about doing-He just wants you to call out to Him-so He like the good Father He is, can with outstretched arms call you to Him. He’s not a God of brimstone and hellfire.
He’s God-a Father of compassion and understanding. He’s gentle and kind. He’s forgiving and accepting. He’s a God of promise and truth that will never change no matter what. He is the only One true God who loves you unconditionally and without measure. He’s a Father who doesn’t want perfection or performance. He wants the real you! He wants a relationship with you. Not one directed by stained glass windows or crosses on the wall, but one that comes from your heart to His.
He's waiting for your call!