Okay, so, an agnostic witch walks into a church…
I’m sure everyone’s just dying to know how that went.
Before I begin, let me preface this post with the following:
My experiences with Christians/Christianity have not always been the best. I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a Christian home, but we weren’t devout about it. Though my grandmother did her best to instill a love of Jesus into us kids, there wasn’t much to “connect” me to Christianity. When I got older and more interested in religion, the type of Christianity I was exposed to was very… let’s say “exclusive,” which is part of how I ended up moving toward (and eventually beyond) Wicca, which I’ll elaborate more on in a later post.
So, I will totally own up to the fact that when I met up with Matt on Sunday, I was open but wary.
Honestly, I did feel a little out of place, but that was 90% my social anxiety. I met soooo many people. So many. Panic. Pure panic. Big groups. Shaky, twitchy Cupcake.
Anxiety panic aside, the service was surprisingly awesome. I say surprisingly, because while I’m not quite sure what I expected, it certainly wasn’t what I experienced. The service was very… I don’t want to say laid-back… fluid, I think is appropriate. There was a structure to it, but it wasn’t rigid or forced. Everything felt organic and flowed naturally.
One of the biggest things I was afraid of going into this experience was judgement. In the past, Christians I’ve met have been very judgmental. It’s only been in relatively recent years that I’ve been exposed to Christians that aren’t far-right-leaning and don’t immediately want to douse me in holy water once they find out I’m a witch.
This was not an issue, on Sunday. Of course, Matt was the only person there who knew I’m a witch, so who knows? But, everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. They asked me questions, engaged with me, which helped me engage back. I stuck pretty close to Matt—
Who, by the way, was the perfect escort through this new experience. He never left me floundering, and made sure I knew when he needed to get up to do this or that so I wouldn’t just be like, “Where’s he going? What’s happening? Why am I alone right now?” Considering some of the unfortunate experiences I’ve had with Christians, I really appreciated not being abandoned to my own devices, because the anxiety might have caused me to bolt.
Anyway, I stuck pretty close to him (because anxiety) and I think people kind of picked up that I was nervous. They were friendly and engaging, but no one tried to force me into talking or force conversation with me. No games of “Twenty Awkward Questions.” Honestly, they were some of the most easy-going conversations I’ve ever been a part of.
So, the social and general experience was pretty good.
But, what did I get out of it?
Forgiveness and imperfection, mostly. In a good way.
Like I mentioned a few times now (do you get it, yet?), my experiences with Christians haven’t always been great. In interactions I’ve had, there’s been this kind of idealism, this perfectionism that is treated like an attainable goal, and if you’ve strayed from this ideal then there’s a problem with you. In a lot of my experiences with Christians, I’ve been treated like I’m damaged because I’ve gotten into fights, or I’ve watched porn, or had sex, or (and this is usually the big pearl-clutcher) I’ve questioned my faith (scandalous). For these reasons, I wasn’t good enough to mingle with God’s flock; I needed to be saved by *insert some act of penance here*.
At the church I went to on Sunday, it was the exact opposite of that. The idea is that I’ve already been forgiven—that’s the point—that’s why Jesus died; to forgive us. That no one is without sin, no human is perfect, but that’s okay; we’re loved, regardless. There’s no such thing as “not good/pure/whole enough.”
That was, like, revolutionary, to me.
So, what now? Am I going back?
Yea, I would like to. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I found the spiritual connection I was searching for, but it was still a pleasant experience in which I found value. I came out of it feeling good, and thinking, and connecting to a part of my past self which I’ve forgotten over the years. I enjoyed it. I’d like to keep enjoying it and see where things go; if it’s something I continue to derive joy from or if the novelty of a new experience wears off.
I’m not going to say that I was “moved by the spirit,” or anything, though I did tear up a little at the end (I didn’t cry, though, and I think I managed to be covert about it; I don’t want to blow my cover as a badass punk by letting people know I have feelings [says the girl who blogs regularly about struggling with depression and anxiety]). And, I don’t plan to denounce my witchy ways anytime soon. I know that Christian witchcraft exists, and while I’m not necessarily planning to make that shift, I am intrigued by the notion and feel it warrants further research.
But, that’s probably for a different post.
I love you all.
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