Monday, February 15, 2010

holy experience

By Belinda

I close the bedroom door softly and step out into the early morning cosiness of a house warming up after cool night.

My long, soft, black robe hangs loose as I pad down the stairs into a world that looks like a black and white photograph in the gray early light, the lack of colour reinforcing a lingering shudder in my soul.

I just finished listening to an audio book that I borrowed from the library, by Carmen Bin Ladin: Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia. The book left me filled with sadness for the author and her three daughters and also horror at the darkeness of a religion practiced with fanatic piety and brutal punishment of disobedience.

Carmen's face on the cover captivated me with its exotic beauty. I was drawn too, by curiousity--what was life like "inside the kingdom,"--in a world as hidden as its women, in their black abayas and thick veils?

From the first word I was spellbound and held in fascinated dread and a tension that built with each chapter. Carmen's story was painful to listen to; a story of fabulous wealth but inhumanity, hypocricy and suppression.

The book made me grateful for our freedom, so easily taken for granted. It forced me to realize that many in this world live in a system that controls and oppresses.

I am grateful for a faith that teaches the infinite value of each individual regardless of race, gender, wealth, or level of intelligence or ability--and I am grateful that my faith is built on love above all else.

The morning light intensifies, bringing with it colour and chasing away the shadows. I breath deeply the air of freedom.

1 John 2:9-11 (The Message)

9-11Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It's the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God's light and doesn't block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn't know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.


Anonymous said...

I come here sometimes because your faith feels so gentle. I have been deeply hurt by those with faith and therefore and cautious with my own. I wish what you wrote was true, that our faith teaches the value of others. But, crosses were burned and black people killed by people of our faith. Women are not allowed to be ministers or priests by churches in our faith. 'Sins of the fathers' created a sin based view of disability. 'Kill a Queer for Christ' is a bumper sticker. I want a gentle faith, I admire yours, but yours isn't representive of our faith as a whole.

Belinda said...

Sadly, Anonymous, I agree with you and I am sad that we wound one another as you have been hurt. In fact, there is too much to say in response to your comment to put in a return comment. On Walk With Jesus Wednesday I will do my best to express myself better with more space!:)

Suz said...

Dear Anonymous -

The Christian faith is about a relationship between you and Christ. So it is as gentle or harsh as you make it. God's word says "Love one another," "Love your enemies." We are not all very good at that but it is the ideal we all strive for.

I pray you find the gentle faith you seek.

Anonymous said...

Suz, I feel a little insulted, like you've trivialized my point of view. The Christian faith is indeed about a personal relationship but it is more than that, to believe otherwise is purposeful ignorance.