a rainbow does not make up for the annihilation of mankind

Ark on Mount Ararat By Simon de Male

The other night Kid2 wanted to read the story of Noah’s Ark. We have an older children’s copy probably first published sometime in the 70s. It was my husbands when he was a child, and as great flood stories are common in many cultures, I figured why not.

I did my best to read in a non-judgmental tone. Paraphrasing here, as book is back on the bookshelf and really, we all know the story, if you need a refresher, you can find it in the Bible, Genesis 5:32-10:1.

Noah and his wife live together with their children, and one day God tells Noah to build an ark. So Noah goes about building an ark, and collects two of each kind of animal for the ark.

So far, so good. Although Kid2 notes “thats a lot of animals.” Yes, yes it is.

Then God gets angry and sends a lot of rain and floods the world and kills everyone — except Noah and his family.

Kid2’s eyes got big. “That God is mean.”

I can’t say I disagree, after all “That God” just finished drowning (almost) all the the inhabitants of the earth simply because “they angered him.”

So Kid2 and I brainstormed better ways of dealing with people who anger you, then we worked our way to the end of the book.

God shows Noah a rainbow and promises not to kill all the humans again.

Kid2 does not think a rainbow makes up for mass drowning, and wanted to be assured it was “just a story.”

Yes, Kid2, it is just a story.


Happy Mother’s Day

Francisco de Zurbaran - Madonna and Child - Google Art Project

In honor of Mother’s Day, some posts pertaining to Mothers.

 

By Francisco de Zurbaran (1598 – 1664) – painter (Spanish)Born in Seville, Spain. Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

Why do young adults disengage with CS communities? HOW IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION!?

I recently received an email from a CS-affiliated group that was holding a local gathering/discussion forum for Christian Scientists. It read, in part:
These discussions will be exploring questions like:
  • What are ways that your Christian Science community has supported you?
  • What are some things you would like to see in your CS communities?
  • What role do organizations that serve Christian Scientists play in supporting young adult community and connections?
  • Why do young adults disengage with CS communities?

Would you have any interest in joining a discussion on these topics? [Redacted] is trying to connect with a broad audience – whether you attend church or not, there is a discussion for you!

The last question, Why do young adults disengage with CS communities? hit a nerve. A better question is how are young adults staying in CS in 2017?

If they want to know why people are leaving Christian Science they should do a quick read of this blog (or any of the other blogs), support sites, published memoirs, or skim a few pages of CHILD’s website. This is not a difficult question.

It is a little late for hand-wringing over what went wrong. The stories are horrifyingly similar: my aging parent/friend/relative is in CS and dying a horrible slow death. As a child I was denied appropriate medical care. I have life long emotional, psychological, physical scars from my CS upbringing. Take your pick, sometimes it is all of the above.

 

Rogue Feels

For those who care, this post contains Rogue One spoilers, and many feels


A few days after the passing of General Leia Organa, my husband and I went and saw Rogue One. When it was all over, I found that was hit with a lot of unexpected feels. It wasn’t just the CGI Carrie Fisher accepting the disk (too soon), or the way Jyn and Cassian held each other as they were annihilated (all the feels), what hit me the hardest was when my husband suggested we go back and watch all the other Star Wars movies.

The Star Wars movies bring up feels. Unresolved feels. Guilty feels. What-if feels. Rogue feels. I’ve been blessed with geeky friends, so I’ve seen IV, V, and VI several times each. I’ve  seen I, II, and VII once. I’ve never actually seen more than a few moments of III (the official site for easier reference), and I left the room pretty quickly. Thanks feels.

In The Princess Diarist, Carrie Fisher writes about her fans:

The Star Wars films touched them in some incredibly profound or significant way. They remember everything about the day they first saw Star Wars one, two, and three (which were officially, of course, IV, V, and VI): where they were, who they were with, what obstacles they had to overcome…. How, that day, things for them ceased to be in any way the same from then to forever after.

Star Wars didn’t really impact me until later, I was still unassimilated stardust when Star Wars:  A New Hope premiered. It wasn’t until the late 1990s, early 2000s that Star Wars really came full force into my life. The new Star Wars movies were coming out, and my friend William*, being the lovable geek that he was, collected every last Star Wars Pepsi and Mt. Dew can (unopened), as well as large cardboard cutouts of Obi-Wan and Yoda, leftover from the grocery store displays where he worked. He grew his hair out like young Obi-Wan, and generally immersed himself in all things Star Wars both the original three movies, and the new ones that were coming out.

The enthusiasm was hard not to pick up on. Together with my other geeky friends, we had a Star Wars marathon, they saw to it I was fully immersed. William and I had a somewhat geeky Sunday School teacher who wanted to keep the kids engaged, we were able to talk about themes of the force in relation to Christian Science, and tie it all together.

William identified with Ewan McGregor’s character of young Obi-Wan from The Phantom Menace (and styled his hair to match), while I related him more to Anakin’s character in Attack of the Clones. He saw himself as the Noble Jedi, I saw him as the angsty troubled teen (even more so after the seizures). I think we may have both been right.

The sudden, unexpected death of a close friend just entering their early twenties is difficult to handle, add the extra layer of Christian Science, and nearly fifteen years later, I’ve still got emotional work to do. Since William’s passing, watching Star Wars movies feels like ripping a scab off wound that refuses to fully heal, hauling up emotions to process. Not every time, there is no consistency in this. Sometimes a wave of rogue feels hits, and sometimes I just enjoy the soap-opera nature of what may have also been called Daddy Issues In Space (parts 1-8). 

Taking deep breaths. Crying. Guilt. Ice cream, the Christian Science cure-all.

I survived my Christian Science childhood. I’m happily married, yet I miss him terribly. Do I miss him, or some idealized version of him? This thought haunts me. Would I still like him now? Would we even be friends? I’m in a very different place than I was when he was still alive. I moved across the country. I have shifted my political views. I am married. I have children. William would’ve been an uncle by now, with several nieces and nephews, some of whom like Star Wars, though not quite as much as he did. His siblings have left Christian Science, their children get medical care, I’m certain his death played a large role in those decisions.

Feels aside, I’m going to keep watching, and enjoying (and having all the feels about), Star Wars movies, and maybe one day, I’ll watch Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.   — YODA, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith


* names have been changed to protect the innocent

New Spiritual Paths

excs header

ExChristianScience.com is starting 2017 with a series of posts about people who have left Christian Science for a new spiritual path. If you have found a new path, and would like to share your journey, please email them at exchristianscientist@gmail.com

Steadfast I stand in the world

Edwin Blashfield - Spring Scattering Stars.jpg

Steadfast I stand in the world
With certainty I tread the path of life
Love I cherish in the core of my being
Hope I carry into every deed
Confidence I imprint upon my thinking
These five lead me to my goal
These five lead me to my existence

Rudolph Steiner 

 

Image via wikimedia – Edwin Blashfield – Spring Scattering Stars